A DISGUSTED livestock owner who had one of her tame pregnant ewes slaughtered and skinned has branded the culprit as “sadistic” and “sick”.

The woman, who declined to be named, said her 20-year-old son discovered the ewe had been butchered and cut to pieces in a field off Broomhall Lane between Worcester and Kempsey after the killer or killers gained access from the A38.

He discovered the grisly remains of the pure Suffolk when completing his rounds at 10am on Wednesday. The killing would have been carried out after 7pm on Tuesday and has been reported to police.

They found the skin and fleece still attached to the skull, the hind legs broken, the jaw bone discarded and other bones including the spine and hip bones dumped in a brook.

She said the ewe, which was in lamb, was a hand-reared orphan and trusting of human beings. At first she thought a fox had attacked the animal.

She said: “We would like other people to know because this is just so well organised. It’s shocking. People have to be aware. We have been told by police it could have been done for meat but they’re not sure. We feel awful.

“We would never allow one of our ewes or any one of our livestock to have their throat slit to be bled out like this. Our animals are always humanely dispatched.

“They caused so much suffering to her. That they could cause so much suffering to any animal and leave us just to find the remains was just appalling and absolutely disgusting.

"She would have been the easiest target because she was one of the tamest. I just think they’re sick and sadistic.”

Oliver Cartwright, National Farmers’ Union spokesman, said: “This is a disturbing case and I’m sure it would have been very distressing for the animal and also the livestock owners who made the discovery.

“Livestock theft does happen from time to time but this is something completely different and is more unusual.

"There are all sorts of serious animal welfare and health issues connected to this and at an abattoir, for example, animals are inspected to ensure the meat is fit to eat.

“I would urge anyone offered cheap meat under suspicious circumstances not to be tempted and speak with the police, environmental health or Trading Standards.”

West Mercia Police is investigating possible connections with another similar incident in Lower Howsell Lane, Leigh Sinton, overnight on June 24 and June 25.

A spokesman for the police said those responsible had been disturbed in the act but a ewe had been killed. The crime reference number is 0209S 121212 and those with information can contact police on 101.