'This is sickening and needs to stop!' Yet another load of sheep butchered near Northampton

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

A call for the 'sickening' attacks on livestock to end has been made after at least 26 sheep were illegally slaughtered near Northampton overnight.

Breeding ewes and lambs were killed and butchered in fields near Harpole sometime between 6pm yesterday (Thursday, August 29) and 3am this morning.

Georgia Green, who is the daughter of the farmer whose livestock were attacked, pleaded on Facebook for anyone with information to come forward.

She wrote: "If anyone has seen anything please get in touch, this really is sickening and needs to stop!

"Not only this is disgusting and horrible for the animals but it’s also peoples livelihoods and it needs to be stopped.

"If you have any details or saw anything at all please do message me and we will pass it onto the police. Thank you in advance."

An overnight police patrol found the sheep remains after coming across an insecure field near the double roundabout where Sandy Lane meets Roman Road and Berrywood Road.

When officers alerted the farmer to the incident he explained some of the slaughtered animals had recently been treated with medication which would mean they could not enter the food chain for a set period of time.

Inspector Tracy Moore, who leads on rural crime at Northamptonshire Police, said: “This incident has caused the farmer a great deal of distress, as well as to the officers who discovered the scene.

“We are also concern about where the stolen meat may end up, as due to the recent use of veterinary medication it may not be fit for human consumption.

“Alongside our Trading Standards partners, our advice to the public remains to only buy meat from reputable outlets, and to avoid buying cheap meat in suspicious circumstances.

Daventry Neighbourhood Sergeant Sam Dobbs tweeted he was 'sad' to report the attack.

The latest attack takes the number of sheep killed in Northamptonshire since February to more than 100, while 263 ewes and lambs have been stolen.

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.

Insp Moore added: “The Operation Stock investigation remains ongoing with active lines of enquiry being followed up both within our force and neighbouring police forces.

“Sadly this incident shows the need for the public to remain vigilant and call in any suspicious activity in rural areas or around livestock to police on 101, or 999 if they believe a crime is in progress.”

Anyone with information about the latest incident is asked to contact police with reference number 19000460803.