THREE otters have been found dead after becoming trapped in a net that police believe was being used ­illegally to catch eel or crayfish.

Police and the Scottish SPCA have launched a joint investigation following the discovery of the animals, which drowned after becoming stuck in the contraption in the River Tyne, next to Haddington Golf Course.

Wildlife Crime Officer PC Gavin Ross said: "Examination of the otters confirms that they were an adult female and two young, and it appears they became trapped within the net.

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"Using a net trap for ­catching eels and crayfish is illegal and we would urge members of the public who remembers seeing anyone fishing in this manner to contact police immediately.

"The death of these animals will be of great distress to many members of the local community."