Northamptonshire Police is urging rural communities to look out for and report any suspicious activity after 10 sheep were killed and illegally butchered.
On Thursday, February 28, officers were called to an incident in Whilton, near Daventry, where five sheep were found to have been killed and professionally butchered in their field.
In the early hours of this morning, Wednesday, March 6, a farmer in Harpole, Northampton, discovered five pregnant ewes had been killed and partially butchered before the suspects were disturbed and fled.
To help protect livestock and catch those responsible, rural crime officers at Northamptonshire Police are urging people who live and work in rural locations to report anything suspicious they see.
PC Abbey Anstead said: “To find animals have been killed and butchered like this is not only very upsetting for farmers but also has financial repercussions.
“If you see something that strikes you as unusual, out of the ordinary or just a bit ‘off’ please let us know by calling 101 or making a report online.
“Please don’t worry that it’s a silly or trivial detail, as even a small piece of information may be a vital key that allows us to link other reports and bring those responsible for illegal activity to book.
“We also want farmers to be aware that this has been happening. If you suspect someone has attempted to target your animals, or find that you’ve lost livestock in this way, please report it to the police immediately.”
The neighbouring police forces of Warwickshire and Leicestershire have also recently had reports of sheep being illegally butchered in a similar manner to the Northamptonshire incidents.
Suspicious activity and non-emergency crime can be reported to Northamptonshire Police on 101 or online at www.northants.police.uk/reportonline. In an emergency, always call 999.
Information can also be shared anonymously via Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111.
Incidents: 19000104174 (Whilton) and 19000115479 (Harpole)