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A farming couple have been left devastated after one of their female cows was executed in an attack on a farm in Lancashire.
Kenneth Tyson and his partner, Julie Wickington, believe their Beef Shorthorn-cross heifer may have been chased off the farm by poachers with dogs before it was surrounded in the corner of a neighbour’s field and shot dead with a high-powered rifle.
The attack happened sometime between the evening of Friday 25 August and Sunday 27 August in Cliviger, near Burnley.
The couple realised over the weekend the cow was missing from Crow Holes Farm in Cliviger.
A neighbouring farmer who was looking for lost sheep found the cow’s carcass in his field at Middle Pasture Farm, Cliviger, on Monday 28 August and raised the alarm.
The cow was shot near the anus and the bullet went through its chest cavity, leaving a gaping wound the size of a person’s fist.
A knackerman who collected the dead cow described it as an “execution-style killing” carried out with a high-calibre rifle.
Mr Tyson said the attack happened near a campsite and a couple who were staying there reported hearing a loud bang over the weekend.
“It was a very docile animal. We do not know why it was selected and shot dead. Whoever did this left the carcass and did not take any of the meat,” said the farmer.
Ms Wickington said the cow must have suffered a terrible ordeal before it was killed.
“How can anyone be sick enough to run down a cow and murder it in cold blood?” she asked.
“What can farmers do? We cannot shut our animals inside. You can have secure gates, but people will just go onto the land at will.”
The couple have reported the incident to Lancashire Police and they have appealed to anyone with information to come forward.
In March, six one-month old lambs were shot dead and their carcasses left in the field at a neighbouring farm in Cliviger. It is unclear if the two incidents are related.
Farmers Weekly has contacted Lancashire Police to request a comment.