'Appalling deja vu': Northamptonshire farmer's lambs butchered for third time this year in latest sheep attack

Lambs from a Northamptonshire farm have been illegally slaughtered for the third time this year 'in an appalling case of deja vu' as the spate of sheep attacks continues.

The farmer flagged down a police patrol after finding 11 lambs killed and butchered in his field near Whilton yesterday (Monday, August 19), according to police.

Daventry neighbourhood sergeant Sam Dobbs said on Twitter that it was thought to have happened on Sunday night.

"Third time his flock has been hit this year, despite all that’s being done. Forensics on scene. Maintained vigilance needed," he tweeted.

The latest attack takes the number of sheep killed in Northamptonshire since February to 91, while 263 ewes and lambs have been stolen.

The Whilton farmer was the first one to be targeted, with four lambs and a ram butchered on February 28, before 21 lambs were killed on July 9.

The lambs found butchered in a field near Whilton. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

The lambs found butchered in a field near Whilton. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

So far two people have been arrested and bailed in relation to the illegal butcheries and four properties in Coventry have been raided.

The investigation, called Operation Stock, has seen increased rural patrols, including drones with thermal imaging cameras used to monitor flocks overnight and look out for suspicious activity.

Officers are also working with other forces, including Warwickshire and Leicestershire, which have also seen similar illegal sheep butchery reports.

Anyone with information should call 101 or visit Northamptonshire Police's website, quoting Operation Stock.

Police investigators inspect the field near Whilton where 11 lambs were found slaughtered. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

Police investigators inspect the field near Whilton where 11 lambs were found slaughtered. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

Information can also be shared anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.