THE owner of a New Forest sheep which was stabbed to death and left in a lane has spoken of her distress at the shocking incident.
The body of the ewe was found in Kewlake Lane, Cadnam, at around 7.30am on 2nd January by a local resident.
A pitchfork was embedded in its carcass and an upside-down cross made of hay left on it.
Owner Wendy Maughan told the A&T: “I’m extremely saddened that we seem to now live in a society where someone gets pleasure by attacking and stabbing to death innocent, non-aggressive animals.
“It was a terrible way for us to start the new decade. It’s another very sad day for the Forest, all who live here and everyone that visits the area.”
Asked who he she thought might be responsible, Mrs Maughan said: “Our perception is that it is more than one person. You’ve got to know a little bit about how to handle them. Ours are mountain sheep and they are naturally flighty.
“Perhaps they stun them first – if it was a shot, we would have heard it. One person must be holding it while the other stabs it. It had been stabbed in the chest and I think it was probably killed by the pitchfork.
“It must have been killed in close proximity and then taken and placed where it was as there was very little blood at the scene.”
As reported in the A&T, there has been a recent spate of animal attacks in the area, which sparked concerns from residents that a Satanic-style cult was active.
In November last year a ewe was knifed to death and marked with pentagrams, and two calves and a heifer were injured within a few miles of each other in the Bramshaw area.
The 12th century St Peter’s Church on Judds Hill was also targeted by offenders, who sprayed its walls with phallic and Satanic symbols.
On 18th December another sheep was found dead, with its entrails removed, in a field off Rodlease Lane, near Boldre. At the time a police spokesperson said officers were not connecting it with the previous offences.
Commenting on the most recent incident, a spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary told the A&T: “We are looking into all lines of enquiry at this time and would link together similar crimes if the evidence allows us to.
“This process is ongoing. Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting the crime reference number 44200001391.”
Calls can also be made anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.