Note: The RSPCA have made the video footage available but we have decided not to release it on our website.

An investigation has been launched after a "shocking, disturbing and distressing" video appearing to show a man biting the head off a live pigeon emerged.

The RSCPA has launched an investigation after being alerted to the footage, which the charity has said could be linked to Wales or the north of England.

The video appears to show a man hitting the bird's nesting place with a stick, before grabbing hold of the pigeon, whose wings are flapping, and biting its head from its body.

The bird is then thrown to the floor, with its wings still moving, before being picked back up by the man, who poses for the camera.

Laughter can be heard in the background of the video, which appears to have been filmed at a building site.

The RSPCA has said the suffering experienced by the pigeon would have been "unimaginable" and has urged anyone with information to come forward.

Dermot Murphy, assistant director of the RSPCA inspectorate, said: "This is a deeply shocking, disturbing and distressing video, appearing to show a man biting the head off a live pigeon.

"If what this video seems to show is accurate, the pain and suffering caused to the pigeon is likely to have been unimaginable.

“Biting the head off a pigeon is likely to constitute an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

"We're very eager for information identifying the individual involved, or providing related background, to be brought to our attention as a matter of urgency.

“It has been suggested to us that the incident may have links to either the north of England, or Wales. However, we are eager for any information which could assist with our enquiries on this serious matter.

"Our inspectorate appeal line can be reached on 0300 123 8018.”

Information can also be reported to police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via