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Who could do this to a flock of defenceless sheep?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Who could do this to a flock of defenceless sheep? thumbnailTWO of the sheep which were brutally slaughtered in Ballyholland.

A SPATE of attacks on sheep in Ballyholland has been described as "sick" by the owner's son.

There have been two attacks on livestock within the past week. In the shocking incident which took place some time between 8.30pm on Tuesday, July 4 and 7.30am/8am on Wednesday, July 5, three sheep were slaughtered having been stabbed in the neck, and having had their ears sliced off.

A vet who was called out by the owner had to put down a further three sheep, due to the extent of their injuries.

During the second attack, which happened between 8:30pm on Wednesday, July 5 and 8pm on Friday, July 7, a further three sheep were attacked and killed.

Ruairi McCartney, who is the son of the owner of the sheep killed in the first attack, contacted the Democrat so that the public in Ballyholland could be made aware of what has happened.

The first attack occurred on the Temple Hill Road, and came not long after a similar attack at Mass Rock, also in Ballyholland.

"My Dad has 10 sheep out here," explained Ruairi.

"He got a phone call from the guy who lives beside the land that he has up here, that the sheep had been killed. He had noticed it as he was driving past.

"Three of them were killed. They had their ears sliced off and their necks stabbed.

"There were another four with their ears sliced. Some of them were half sliced, the other ones - literally the whole ear had been cut off the side of their head.

"The vet was here - she had to put another three down - so there's six dead. It's unbelievable, unbelievable." Ruairi says that he is sure that the attack was not carried out by a dog, and that it was done "absolutely deliberately." "It was a clean slice - it hasn't been sawed or hacked at," said Ruairi.

"The vet commented that it's something similar to her using a scalpel, it was that sharp.

"It's obviously a sick attack, and there's obviously a sick person about somewhere," said Ruairi.

"It's more to just let the people of Ballyholland and the area know that there's somebody about here able to do this.

"And obviously if anybody saw anything, to get in touch to try and help us find out who it is.

"Dad has no grudges with anybody or anything like that - somebody has come out to injure and kill animals." Gerald Travers, the owners of the sheep slain in the second attack, couldn't believe that his flock would fall victim to a second attack.

"I knew it had happened up the road a bit, I didn't really expect it to happen again.

"Some sick mind has just kept going," he said.

According to Mr Travers, local farmers are considering setting up a 'farmers' watch' to try and catch the culprits.

He believes "at least three people" had to be involved.

"The sheep must have been cornered, it definitely wasn't one man on his own.

"A couple of neighbours saw the sheep, all up at the top of the field looking down over the hill and had found it suspicious.

"That was 8 or 9 o'clock on Thursday night, it had already happened, we think, because the sheep were looking down at the three dead ewes and obviously were petrified.

"The sheep still haven't gone down to the bottom of the field where it happened," he added.

Police, meanwhile, are appealing for any witnesses to the attack to come forward.

Inspector Denise Graham said: "It was reported that sometime between 8.30 pm of last night (Tuesday, July 4) and 8.00 am of today (Wednesday, July 5) the sheep were attacked at Temple Hill Road.

"Unfortunately, the owner arrived to find some had already been killed and some were then brought to a vet where they have since had to be put down. This was a quite brutal act and we would ask for the public's assistance in dealing with it.

"I am, therefore, appealing that anyone with information that can assist with the investigation contact officers in Newry on 101 quoting reference number 188 of 05/07/17.

Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111." Of the second attack, Chief Inspector Roy Robinson said: "It was reported that sometime between 8:30pm on Wednesday, 05 July and 8pm last night, Friday 07 July three sheep were attacked and killed.

"I am appealing that anyone with information that can assist with the investigation contact officers in Newry on 101 quoting reference number 1246 of 07/07/17. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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