Police fear ‘large predator’ may be behind savage killing of farmer’s three sheep in Cheshire

Police fear a ‘large predator’ may be behind the savage killing of three sheep at a farm in Cheshire.  

Officers are investigating the triple sheep killing in Marton, Salterswall, in the Winsford district on Friday.

They say they’re working on a new case that has ‘extremely unusual elements’ after Cheshire Police’s Rural Crime Team attended the scene.   

Officers are investigating the triple sheep killing in Marton, Salterswall, in the Winsford district on Friday

Officers are investigating the triple sheep killing in Marton, Salterswall, in the Winsford district on Friday

Officers are investigating the triple sheep killing in Marton, Salterswall, in the Winsford district on Friday

Posting on social media, they said they believe the attack occurred overnight between 9pm on January 7 to 8.30am on January 8.

One sheep and two lambs were killed near the farmhouse and police said the rest of the flock were unharmed.

Officers are appealing to the public for information to help find out what happened to the animals. 

In a Facebook post, an officer wrote: ‘Today PCSO Smith and myself have attended a triple sheep killing in Marton, Salterswall, Winsford district.

Police fear a 'large predator' may be behind the killing of three sheep at a farm in Cheshire after another attack in the area last month (pictured)

Police fear a 'large predator' may be behind the killing of three sheep at a farm in Cheshire after another attack in the area last month (pictured)

Police fear a ‘large predator’ may be behind the killing of three sheep at a farm in Cheshire after another attack in the area last month (pictured) 

‘This attack occurred overnight from around 9pm yesterday (January 7) and 8.30am today (January 8th).

‘One sheep and two lambs, killed near the farmhouse with the rest of the flock unharmed.

‘There are some extremely unusual elements in the case and a thorough investigation is currently underway to establish the full circumstances and to identify the offender/s.

‘If you saw anything suspicious in the Marton area: any persons or vehicles: particularly along Dalefords Lane or Cinder Hill then please get in contact asap via 101 & quote IML-890541 / PC Moss.’ 

Police have released images of 30 sheep that were also killed in fields near the small village of Utkinton, Cheshire, between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Rural Crime Team believe a pack of out-of-control hounds chased the terrified flock to exhaustion before mauling them to death.

Police have released images of 30 sheep that were also killed in fields near the small village of Utkinton, Cheshire, between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (pictured)

Police have released images of 30 sheep that were also killed in fields near the small village of Utkinton, Cheshire, between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (pictured)

Police have released images of 30 sheep that were also killed in fields near the small village of Utkinton, Cheshire, between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (pictured) 

The news also comes after another unusual case involving the death of a number of sheep on a farm in Cheshire last week.

Police are now investigating whether a ‘larger predator’ rather than a dog was behind the attack.

Officers visited the farm on December 30, and spoke to the farmer, who it is understood told them of past sightings of what looked like a big cat in the area.

Six of the livestock had died and four had been seriously injured and had to be put to sleep.

The attack which left 30 sheep dead on Christmas Day (pictured) is the first in a series of incidents involving the death of sheep in the Cheshire area

The attack which left 30 sheep dead on Christmas Day (pictured) is the first in a series of incidents involving the death of sheep in the Cheshire area

The attack which left 30 sheep dead on Christmas Day (pictured) is the first in a series of incidents involving the death of sheep in the Cheshire area 

A post by the force said: ‘The area has very little human interaction and at the moment the thought is very much on a larger predator and not as initially thought, a dog attack.’

Police also said the farmer had confirmed ‘sighting some years ago of a very large black cat type.’

The post was later removed. Cheshire Police has not confirmed why, but has not disputed the contents of the officer’s post.

A spokesman said: ‘Police received a report at around 3pm on 30 December 2020 that a number of sheep had been killed at a farm in Macclesfield.

‘Officers initially spoke with the farmer over the phone and later visited the site.

‘The farmer had found that six sheep had died and that another four had sustained serious injuries. The sheep were later put down due to their injuries.

‘It is not known what caused the injuries to the sheep and enquiries are ongoing.’  

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