Warning: Article contains photo that may be upsetting to some readers.
Eighteen lambs have died in what police believe was a deliberate dog attack on a farm in Nottinghamshire.
It is thought the offenders entered private property linked to a farm in Warsop and then set dogs onto the livestock.
The distraught farmer initially discovered 13 dead lambs and five others seriously injured.
Officers from Nottinghamshire Police were called to the scene on Saturday 12 June.
Of the five lambs still alive, one died while they were there and the other four had to be humanely destroyed by a vet.
The attack is believed to have happened between 9pm on Friday night (11 June) and the early hours of Saturday morning.
The majority of the lambs were left in a pile and others scattered around, leading investigators to suspect this was a deliberate act.
The loss of the livestock alone is thought to have cost the farmer more than £1,600.
NFU county adviser for Nottinghamshire Andy Guy said the attack had caused serious concern
Let’s put the cost to one side for a moment, considerable though it is. The animal welfare issues and the mental distress to the farmers are sufficient cause for very serious concern. The question in my mind is why would someone permit/encourage their dog to behave in this way? https://t.co/nka2ASS1xZ
— NFU Notts (@NFUNotts) June 13, 2021
Ch Insp Chris Sullivan from Nottinghamshire Police said the “terrible and despicable act” had left the farmer completely distraught.
“One theory is that dogs have possibly been set loose in the field during the night. Some of the lambs were found dead but others had to be put to sleep because their injuries were so severe,” Ch Insp Sullivan said.
“Our officers and our special rural crime team are now working with the RSPCA to track down who has committed such a brutal and inhumane act.
“This is totally unacceptable behaviour and will not be tolerated at any cost.
“If anyone has any information or may have witnessed any suspicious activity at the time the incident occurred, we would urge you to make contact with us so we can bring those responsible to justice quickly.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 364 on 12 June.