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Reports of illegal sheep butchery ongoing as police find 26 sheep dead

The incident is being treated as part of Operation Stock, the Northamptonshire Police investigation into illegal sheep butchery and sheep thefts in the county this summer.

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Patrick Green of Church Farm, Harpole.
Patrick Green of Church Farm, Harpole.
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Reports of illegal sheep butchery ongoing as Northamptonshire farmer finds 26 sheep dead

Reports of illegal sheep butchery have ramped up in Northamptonshire as another farmer has told of his loss of at least 26 ewes and lambs.

 

Patrick Green of Church Farm, Harpole, was contacted by police officers in the early hours of Friday August 30 after they found about 26 of his lambs and New Zealand Suffolk x Mule breeding ewes illegally slaughtered overnight in a field off Roman Road and Sandy Lane, between Dunston and Harpole.

 

The third generation farmer, who has been breeding to improve his flock for the past five years, said: “I feel empty.

 

“We rely entirely on our income from the sheep and what I have been breeding for the past five years means I have made progress for the ideal, healthy animal, one that is welfare-friendly and easy to produce and rear.


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“Lots of work [has] gone into them to produce a sheep that is as close to the ideal as possible.”

 

Mr Green said he decided to speak up about the incident to raise awareness of the issue and encourage anyone with information to come forward.

 

Welfare

He said: “I spend my life looking after my animals, to produce them for the food market healthily and safely, breeding for the future of my stock.

 

“I spend my time looking after them so they have good lives, and then someone comes along and brutalises them like this.

“I look after 1,300 lambs on my own and care deeply for their welfare. Something like this really makes you lose your drive and lose heart.”

 

The incident is being treated as part of Operation Stock, the Northamptonshire Police investigation into illegal sheep butchery and sheep thefts.

 

More than 118 sheep have been illegally slaughtered in the county since February.

 

Anyone with information or who sees anything suspicious in the area is asked to call Northamptonshire Police on 101 quoting Operation Stock, or to call 999 if they think a crime is in progress.

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