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Police have launched an investigation after 18 lambs were left dead following what is believed to be a deliberate attack.
The lambs are believed to have had dogs deliberately set on them at private property linked to a farm in Warsop, Nottinghamshire, sometime between 9pm on Friday (11 June) and the early hours of the following morning.
Nottinghamshire Police said it is thought offenders entered the property and set dogs onto the sheep.
The distraught farmer found 13 dead and the remaining five seriously injured, the force said.
One of the injured lambs died while officers were at the scene and the other four had to be humanely destroyed by a local vet.
The loss of the livestock alone is thought to have cost the farmer over £1,600, police said.
The force said the majority of the lambs were left in a pile and others were scattered around, leading investigators to suspect it was a deliberate act.
Chief Inspector Chris Sullivan, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: "This was a terrible and despicable act and has understandably left the farmer completely distraught.
"One theory is that dogs have possibly been set loose in the field during the night. Some of the lambs were found dead but others had to be put to sleep because their injuries were so severe.
He added: "Our officers and our specials rural crime team are now working with the RSPCA to track down who has committed such a brutal and inhumane act like this.
"This is totally unacceptable behaviour and will not be tolerated at any cost."
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