Police in Lincolnshire are hunting attackers who killed and butchered an in-lamb ewe in a field near Spalding.
The pedigree Hebridean ewe had its feet and intestines removed before the carcass was taken from the field next to the A16.
Police believe the attack took place between Saturday night 11 February and the early hours of Sunday 12 February.
The ground was heavily marked as though the sheep flock was herded into one area before the sheep was caught, butchered and loaded into a vehicle parked in the gateway.
Sgt Stuart Brotherton, of Spalding police told a local newspaper the sheep had probably had its throat cut at the scene.
“The four feet have been cut off cleanly. This is clearly someone who knows what they are doing. It’s a terrible act,” Sgt Brotherton told the Spalding Guardian.
“Whoever has done this may discard pieces that they do not want.”
He said he was keen to hear from refuse collectors or neighbours who may come across the remains.
There is no description of the vehicle involved.
Anyone with information should call Sgt Brotherton at Spalding Police Station on 101.
The owners of the sheep flock are said to be “very distraught” and have asked not to be identified.