Police in Warwickshire have appealed to the public for information after person or persons unknown entered a field in a vehicle and, it seems, deliberately targeted and killed eighteen sheep.

Officers were first informed that three sheep had been found dead in a field at the Barton Crossroads/Honeybourne Road last week.

On investigation, a further eight ewes were then found dead in the same field and another seven were severely injured and had to be euthanised by a vet. It is believed the animals had been deliberately run over by a vehicle.

Rural Crime Officer Carol Cotterill said the incident was 'very distressing' and has caused the affected farmer to be 'shaken and upset'.

"Unfortunately we do believe this to be a deliberate act and we are treating these offences very seriously," she said. "We are currently working with the RSPCA to identify the circumstances of the incident."

If anyone has any information, or witnessed any suspicious vehicles or behaviour in this location over the past week, they can let the police know by calling 101 and referring to incident number 47 of March 11, 2020.

"Any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, may help us to investigate this cruel act and identify those responsible," added Officer Cotterill.

Warwickshire county adviser for the NFU, George Bostock, said the incident was 'abhorrent'.

"Those farmers who have been affected will be devastated and the wider farming community is extremely concerned at the scale of rural crimes more broadly," said Mr Bostock. "The NFU is calling on local farmers to be the eyes and ears of the police and report anything suspicious."