Dartford Golf Club has sparked outrage among thousands of animal-lovers after allowing a marksman to target foxes who use the course as a toilet.

Members of the golf club in Heath Road received a letter last month telling them that licensed shotgun holder, Nigel Costen, would be shooting foxes as part of a legal cull.

Mr Costen is a member of British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

An online petition against the club's cull has attracted 2, 831 signatures in just three days.

A open letter posted by Dartford resident, Richey Estcourt, to the club's general manager, Matthew Streets says: "Dartford Golf Club did not consult local residents before authorising a marksman to inhumanely kill foxes within our neighbourhood.

"This practice must stop immediately, and with a full acknowledgement that wild animals are not disposable, nor an inconvenience to the pursuit of leisure and profit."

Susan Barton from Swanley added: "How dare these sadistic psychotic thugs kill our local wildlife - if wildlife worries them so much go and hit a ball somewhere else."

And, Mark Pilkington from Dartford said: "Absolutely selfish, disgusting decision - this needs to stop immediately."

Defending the club's actions, Mr Streets said that the foxes 'cause damage and excrement all over the golf course' but does not know how many have been killed so far.

He added: "We sent letters out to members well in advance of the cull and there was no feedback.

"Its just attracted a lot of attention on social media.

"We allow one gunman on the course to exterminate foxes, we will be reviewing our policies in the new year."