Flock of 25 sheep killed in 'monstrous' attacks in Northamptonshire

Image caption Police have increased patrols to try to reassure sheep farmers

A further 25 sheep have been found dead in a county where at least 143 have been illegally slaughtered this year.

The discovery was made at 08:00 BST in a field near Thornby, about 11 miles (17.7km) north of Northampton.

Northamptonshire Police said the pace of its investigation into this "monstrous" spate of killings was "unrelenting".

The force repeated its recent warning that illegally butchered meat may not be safe to eat.

Insp Tracy Moore said: "Unsurprisingly, the owner of these sheep is devastated and my officers are working around the clock to bring whoever is responsible for these monstrous acts to justice.

"The pace of this investigation is unrelenting and proactive officers continue to patrol the county's rural areas both day and night.

"We remain concerned about illegal meat entering the human food chain, as recent use of veterinary medication could mean it's unfit for human consumption."

Police urged anyone who has been offered cheap meat in suspicious circumstances to contact them and to only buy from reputable outlets.

Image copyright Northamptonshire Police
Image caption At least 143 sheep have been illegally killed in Northamptonshire since the start of the year

This latest incident, at a farm off Welford Road, means at least 143 sheep have been illegally killed in Northamptonshire since the start of the year.

They include a total of 37 lambs in three separate incidents at a farm near Whilton, near Daventry, since February and at least 26 lambs and ewes in a field near Northampton last month.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the illegal butchering of sheep but no-one has yet been charged.

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