‘Butchers’ raid at nature reserve

Five sheep at a nature reserve were slaughtered before being professionally butchered for their meat.

It would have taken more than two hours to butcher the sheep, whose skins, feet and internal organs were left behind at Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in Watlington, Oxfordshire, a Thames Valley Police spokesman said.

Pc Jon Simpkins, from Thame police station, said: “The sheep were in a remote field on Aston Hill along the A40 Lewknor and the offenders would have had to park a vehicle in a nearby gateway.

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“To have butchered the sheep would have taken in excess of two hours and they would have had to carry about 200 kilos (440lb) of meat to their vehicle.

“The job was professionally done and I believe the offenders may have previous experience of butchering animals and used professional butcher or chef knives.”

Anyone with any information about the incident, or who noticed any suspicious vehicles in the area, should call Pc Simpkins at Thames Valley Police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.