A farmer in Northumberland has become the latest south of the border to find that a number of his sheep stock had been illegally butchered.

14 sheep were slaughtered at Park End Farming, with criminals making off with the meat and leaving the flock’s remains in the field to be found by the farmer’s wife and two young children on Monday 8th July.

The farmer, Phil Neal, said in a social media post with a photo of the sheep remains:

“Today the worst thing happened that my children witnessed. Today we found that our sheep were butchered in the field last night.

“Words cannot describe how I feel after all the hard work and love that goes into our stock. Today I feel like giving up.”

Northamptonshire Police said the carcasses of 12 sheep were stolen and their remains left in a field, while a further two were killed but left at the scene.

Officers are appealing for members of the public to come forward if they have seen or heard anything relating to this incident. Northamptonshire Police can be contacted through 101.

The attacks comes only weeks after police in the south-west of England said that sheep were being illegally butchered in fields by semi-professional gangs.

80 sheep and lambs were reported to have been slaughtered in the region of Warwickshire this year alone, while as many as 40 are suspected to have been butchered in West Mercia, a police area which includes Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.