Taree Police are calling on the community to ignore a fake news story being shared on social media.
A news article relating to an alleged Federal police raid on an underground animal brothel based in Taree was posted on news site North Coast Chronicle on February 9.
The article was shared 626 times on Facebook and boasted nearly 50 comments from concerned people.
The article originally appeared on news website World News Daily Report in 2015 and has circulated around Australia and New Zealand, only changing the name of the town the alleged raid took place.
Photos attached to the story are taken from a real police raid and animal rescue in 2014.
Chief Inspector Paul Fuller wants to remind local residents of the dangers of spreading false claims.
“Obviously it’s the contagion- it spreads like wildfire.
It portrays communities in a poor light,” Chief Inspector Fuller said.
It appears the North Coast Chronicle website has been taken down.