Pregnant sheep beheaded

SICKENED: Adrian Moore discovered a 'trail of destruction' when he went to check on his sheep.
SICKENED: Adrian Moore discovered a 'trail of destruction' when he went to check on his sheep.

Three pregnant sheep have had their heads cut off and five more are missing from a paddock near State Highway 1 in Riverlands.

Adrian Moore, of Seddon, was upset when he discovered three of his sheep had been slaughtered and the rest were missing.

Moore, who manages the Ravensdown Fertiliser store on SH1, had kept his Wiltshire sheep in the front paddock for about three months with the aim of breeding from them.

Six of the sheep were pregnant and "about to drop", he said.

Yesterday he drove past the paddock to check on them and found the paddock empty.

He went to investigate and what he found sickened him.

"There was blood, trail marks, and heads everywhere," he said.

"It's just a trail of destruction."

Moore had checked on the animals about 5pm on Saturday, so someone must have come in between then and yesterday afternoon, he said.

He had kept stock in the front paddock since he started his job about 12 months ago. It was the first time anything like this had happened, he said.

He believed the sheep were herded into a gated area about 50 metres by 3m. Three of them were then slaughtered and trail marks on the dirt suggested the other five, including a stud ram, were dragged and taken. The trail marks continued over the fence which bordered SH1.

"A little area like this, it's easy to tie the legs up and chuck them over the fence," he said.

"I think they might have started slaughtering them for meat, then realised they were pregnant and dragged the rest off."

It was unlikely whoever did it hadn't realised six of the sheep were pregnant, he said.

"They were heavily pregnant, one was huge," he said.

"They would have been struggling to move."

He believed it would have taken at least two people to herd the sheep into the gated area, kill them, and then get the rest over the fence and into a vehicle.

"It shouldn't be like that," he said.

"I know animals get slaughtered, but there are decent ways to do it. Running them into a paddock and cutting their heads off, I can only imagine how stressed they would've been."

The Marlborough Express