A man has been arrested in connection with “occult” attacks on sheep in the New Forest.
A number of farm animals have been killed since November and some were found with satanic symbols painted on them
Hampshire Police have arrested a 41-year-old man from Winchester.
A force spokesman said: “Officers investigating a number of sheep deaths in the New Forest have today arrested a man.
“A 41-year-old man from Winchester has been arrested on suspicion of six counts of criminal damage. He remains in custody at this time.”
The arrest follows reports of three further sheep deaths between 16 and 20 January in Wittensford Lane and Kewlake Lane, Cadnam, and Penn Road, Bramshaw.
Two of the sheep were found with puncture wounds and a pitchfork was found near a third animal, police said.
The deaths follow the discovery of a ewe in Kewlaker Lane, Cadman on 2 January. The sheep had been stabbed to death, with a pitchfork left impaled in its body and a cross made of hay was left nearby.
In November, a sheep and two cows were also attacked and Satanic symbols painted on the door of St Peter’s Church in Bramshaw.