More than 40 lambs and sheep have been “professionally slaughtered” in farmers’ fields.
Police described the four attacks across Northamptonshire in the past week as “extremely concerning”. In most cases the carcasses were stolen.
Twenty-one lambs were butchered on Wednesday and an injured lamb found tied up with wire fencing on Saturday.
“This is not only very upsetting, it also has financial repercussions,” said Insp Scott Little.
“The lambs appear to have been professionally slaughtered and their carcasses have then been stolen.
“Inquiries are ongoing and we are asking for anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious over the past week to get in touch.”
‘Remove loose fencing’
Fourteen lambs were killed in a field off the A428 between Crick and West Haddon, some time between last Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon.
Twelve of the animals were stolen and two carcasses left in the field.
Twenty-one lambs were killed and stolen some time between Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning in Whilton, near Daventry.
On Saturday, the remains of at least 10 sheep were found in a field on Harrington Road, Kelmarsh, and a lamb was found injured and tied up with electric fence wire in Boughton Road, Moulton,
Police have appealed for dashcam and CCTV footage and urged farmers to remove any loose fencing and pens in fields and store them securely.
“Officers will be visiting farmers and landowners on their patch over the next few days,” Insp Little added.