More lambs illegally slaughtered and stolen in Northamptonshire

More lambs have been illegally slaughtered or stolen from farms in Northamptonshire this week to add to the spate of illegal butchery plaguing the county this summer.

Six lambs were killed and butchered at a property on the border with Oxfordshire, with police being told at 5.40pm on Sunday (August 4).

Police on a Northamptonshire farm where sheep had been illegally killed and butchered. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

Police on a Northamptonshire farm where sheep had been illegally killed and butchered. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

While 14 lambs were stolen in Hollowell, a village north of Northampton, yesterday (Wednesday).

Northamptonshire Police officers are investigating the incidents as part of Operation Stock, the investigation into the reports of the illegal butchery of lambs and sheep across the county.

Senior investigating officer for the operation, Detective Inspector Johnny Campbell, urged people to remain vigilant.

“Our investigation is wide-ranging and ongoing, and we’re working closely with neighbouring forces who have experienced similar incidents," he said.

“We’re also continuing our proactive patrols and community engagement work and remain very grateful to the public who continue to report suspicious activity and information to us.

“If you see or hear anything at all that could be relevant to our investigation, please call 101 quoting Operation Stock, make a report online, or dial 999 in an emergency.”

Northamptonshire Police is investigating lambs and sheep found killed and illegally butchered on farms in Crick, Whilton, Clipston, Kelmarsh and Rushton last month.

Operation Stock is linked in with neighbouring forces, including Warwickshire and Leicestershire, which have also seen a number of recent cases of illegal butchery.

The National Farmers' Union estimates suggest that more than 100 sheep have been illegally slaughtered in Northamptonshire since March.

One arrest on suspicion of criminal damage and theft has been made so far, a 40-year-old Hampshire man on July 24 - he remains released under investigation.

As well as ongoing rural patrols and community engagement, around 150 warning signs have been distributed to farmers and landowners across the county.

Call 101 with any information about Operation Stock. The latest incident numbers are 19000410722 (illegal butchery) and 19000416400 (Hollowell theft).