Oxford

Sheep butchered at Watlington nature reserve

Five sheep have been killed, butchered and their meat stolen at an Oxfordshire nature reserve, police have revealed.

The sheep were "professionally" slaughtered and butchered and the thieves left behind the skins, feet and internal organs, officers said.

The animals had been in Aston Rowant Nature Reserve, Watlington, when they were killed sometime between 5 and 16 February.

Thames Valley Police said the operation would have taken more than two hours.

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

"To have butchered the sheep would have taken in excess of two hours and they would have had to carry about 200 kilos 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."

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