The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in Armagh says that they are investigating after two lambs on a farm have had their right ears cut off and as a result have suffered heart attacks and died.
Roberta McMullan, the owner of the lambs that were mutilated and subsequently died, has said that the attack on the second lamb was a sinister and deliberate act.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph she said that whoever has done this is “sick”. The first lamb died last week and the second lamb died at the weekend.
I discovered it first thing on Saturday. The lamb was lying in a field beside the house. Its right ear had been cut off and I searched the fields for anywhere it could be, but couldn’t find it.
The farmer, from Battleford Road farm, said that she hoped the lamb died a quick death. A post-mortem on the pedigree Suffolk lamb found that it died from a heart attack and the paper reports that it was a twin of the lamb which died after having its ear cut off last week.
She told the Belfast Telegraph that the loss of the lambs and vet bills means she is almost £1,000 out of pocket.
McMullan lives with her elderly parents several miles outside Armagh and has been farming for nearly 50 years, it reports.
“There is no bad feeling among the farming community,” she said and could not understand why her farm was attacked.
“You would have to get the lamb in the field and stop it running away. It would come if you had meal in your hand. They know me, but not strangers,” she said.
A local farmer told the paper that while there had been some animal thefts in recent years but noting as sinister as this.
It is disgraceful what has happened. It would take quite a lot of effort to cut off a lamb’s ear. If you go into the field they will scatter.
USPCA spokesman David Wilson told the paper that in the associations experience the farming community is a tight-knit community and will help each other.
“We hope that someone in the farming community or rural area will hear something and report it to police. The sooner they are caught and convicted and sentenced the better.
“We have seen incidents like this before, thankfully rarely, but it is very difficult to understand the mindset of anyone who would deliberately harm an animal,” Wilson said.
The PSNI said that it is presently investigating reports where a number of lambs have been attacked and have had their right ears cut off.
The PSNI have also said that they are treating the attacks as deliberate animal cruelty.