Yet more sheep have been found illegally butchered in Northamptonshire in what is the 12th such incident plaguing the county since February.
Twenty-five sheep were found slaughtered on Monday (9 September) in a field near Thornby off the A14.
Around 143 sheep have been illegally slaughtered this year alone in the county.
The latest incident is being investigated by Northamptonshire Police's Operation Stock, which focuses purely on illegal butchery and sheep theft.
Inspector Tracy Moore said: “Unsurprisingly, the owner of these sheep is devastated and my officers are working around the clock to bring whoever is responsible for these monstrous acts to justice.
“The pace of this investigation is unrelenting and proactive officers continue to patrol the county's rural areas both day and night.
“We remain concerned about illegal meat entering the human food chain, as recent use of veterinary medication could mean it's unfit for human consumption.”
Police are also investigating a recent incident after 11 lambs were found butchered on 19 August near Whilton.
Officers have so far arrested two people in connection with illegal butchery, but no one has been charged.
Last month, a 39-year-old man was arrested in connection with illegal butchery following the recent theft of 64 ewes in Northamptonshire.