A cow has died and others were left injured after a series of attacks on a herd in Leicestershire.

Bricks, sticks, knives, dogs and an airgun have been used by children as young as 11 on 71 head of cattle at Spinney Bank Farm, Barwell, Leicestershire.

Farmers Elaine and Kevin Thorpe had to have one animal put down because of its injuries, while another had knife wounds down its leg.

Bullocks were found struggling after apparently having been beaten across their backs with sticks.

Other livestock have been found with abscesses where they have been hit, one cow had suffered a split eye, while another was found with an airgun pellet in the side of its neck.

Most of the animals were either in calf or looking after newborn calves.

The field where the herd has been attacked was near a housing estate, but the Thorpes believe the only motive is “yobbish cruelty”.

Police have spoken to three boys, two aged 11 and one aged 12, in connection with the attacks.