Pet sheep 'executed' in attack on Rugeley farm

image source, RSPCA/PA Wire
image captionThe RSPCA said it was now looking a string of separate incidents at the same farm

A pet sheep was shot in the head with a rifle in an attack at a farm in Staffordshire.

The RSPCA said the sheep was "effectively executed" at the farm in Colton, near Rugeley, on Thursday.

The farm has been targeted on a number of other occasions, including when one of their horses was found slashed and whipped more than 40 times.

Trevor Street, the sheep's owner, said: "Words can't describe how angry I am that this has happened."

The RSPCA said it was liaising with police.

Mr Street said: "Shaun was the most friendly sheep.

"He'd been shot in the head with a rifle. It has obviously been done by someone who knows what they are doing."

Three other sheep in the field at the time were uninjured.

Another farmer has also moved his flock from a neighbouring field after two of the sheep had their ears cut off while grazing.

'Becoming horrendous'

RSPCA inspector Natalie Perehovsky said: "The sheep's owners went to tend to their flock early Thursday morning and found one of the rams dead in the field.

"It's not the first time their animals have been attacked and they're now, understandably, very worried that they're being targeted deliberately."

Six weeks ago, one of the family's horses, Faith, was found by Mr Street and his partner Sharon Webley, covered in slash and whip marks.

Mr Street said: "We've had lots of things happen over the past 18 months.

"It started with silly things like gates being opened in paddocks and the chickens being let out of the coop.

"But now it's becoming horrendous. It's the animals I'm worried about."

Angry reaction

He added items have gone missing, fences damaged, rugs stolen off horses when grazing, and dangerous items like rakes left in stables and barns, where they could harm the animals.

Many people reacted with anger on social media following the news.

Michelle Boundford said on Facebook: "Some sick twisted people about. Hope they're caught and justice is served!"

Christine McAteer said: "This is deliberate and calculated cruelty towards innocent creatures and hardworking farmers causing unmitigated distress, suffering and worry.

"I hope the perpetrators are caught and brought to justice. So sad."

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