Three men have been caught on camera trying to catch and butcher sheep on a farm in Lancashire.
The incident happened at 1.25am on Monday (8 July) in the Preston/Blackburn area.
Sheep owner Steven Walker, of Hoghton View Herefords, a Hereford cattle breeding company based in Hoghton, Lancashire, said he was woken up by the commotion and the men fled the scene empty-handed.
Urging farmers to stay vigilant, Mr Walker has posted two short clips of CCTV footage on Facebook showing the men, dressed in hoodies, trying to steal the sheep.
“Last night at 1:25am, three men tried to butcher our tups in the garden,” he said.
“Luckily our tups are lively lads and the commotion awoke us and the men were scared off.
“CCTV shows how close they were to succeeding. Please be vigilant, especially in the Blackburn/Preston area.”
The footage has been viewed more than 175,000 times, shared more than 6,000 times and has attracted more than 1,600 comments. Many have expressed their shock and anger over the incident.
Lancashire Constabulary has not made any arrests related to this incident. Farmers are being urged to stay vigilant.
Watch the two videos below:
Midlands sheep butcherings
Earlier this week, Farmers Weekly featured the latest in a series of horrific sheep butchering incidents on farms in the Midlands.
Sheep farmer Phil Neal told how his partner, Katie Payne, and their two young children discovered the remains of 15 of their Texel flock butchered in a field near Crick and West Haddon on Monday (8 July).
Police say professional criminal butchers are operating across the Midlands, killing sheep in fields and selling their meat on the illicit food market. Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.