A third of a farmers flock of sheep were shot dead in what was thought to be a deliberate attack.
The incident happened on Coxtie Green Farm, Brentwood, Essex in the early evening of Monday February 6.
The cause behind the attack is so far unknown.
Owners Mike and Maria Pereira told EssexLive they were ‘shocked’ and ‘horrified’ after finding four of their sheep dead and another four injured.
Mr Pereira said: “The fact that you have some psychopathic individual or individuals running around our farm shooting is a great concern.
“We think we disturbed whoever it was. We don’t know if they wanted to cause more damage.
“It is going to absolutely affect our business. We have lost the ability to breed with those sheep, but we could have lost a lot more.”
Evidence also highlighted at least one sheep had been attacked by a dog or a fox.
The sheep that survived the ordeal had injuries so severe they had to be put down.
An Essex Police spokesman said: “Officers are investigating the shooting of livestock near an address in Coxtie Green Road, Pilgrims Hatch.
“Suspects unknown shot and killed livestock which was grazing in fields, between 5pm and 8.45pm on Monday February 6.”
Anyone with information is urged to call Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.