Animals cruelly mutilated and slaughtered at Devon smallholding
A goat was ritualistically butchered and its organs carefully removed, before its skin with the head still attached was left neatly folded on the field from where it was snatched.
The killing, which was branded by police as “absolutely disgusting” was the second time animals at an isolated small holding in the Teign Valley, near Exeter, were cruelly mutilated.
Police are believe the attacks are linked and that they may possibly be related to a lamb having its legs savagely amputated and a Dartmoor pony being slaughtered in a suspected Satanic cult sacrifice.
PC Rob Condy-Young, based at Chudleigh police station, said the attacks were "deeply disturbing" and that photographs were too graphic to release to the media.
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In the first incident, between July 12 and 13, the owners of a small holding on the outskirts of the village of Bridford turned up to the remote spot to find their animals had been tortured.
Four ducks had been killed, a horse’s shoe removed “inhumanely” with a crowbar, a goat had one of its horns damaged leaving it in pain and a chicken was missing.
“They turned up to find a scene of carnage,” said PC Condy-Young.
The matter was reported to police, but worse was to come when on Thursday, August 15, they left their home in Exeter to check on their animals and found a goat which went missing the previous day had been left for them in a grisly fashion.
“The animal had been butchered off site and it’s remains had been carefully laid out in the field from which it had been taken,” said PC Condy-Young.
“It has been dismembered. It had been decapitated with its skin on, the skin had been removed from the rest of the carcass.
“This had been brought back with the skin attached and the head still on, but the insides were missing.
“It was absolutely disgusting.”
He declined to say whether the work was the action of a cult, but said it appeared it “had been done with thought” rather than was a spontaneous action.
PC Condy-Young said the family were extremely upset.
“The nature of these acts and what has happened has hit them very hard indeed and they are very distressed.”
He said police are investigating link to the killing of a lamb at Tedburn St Mary which was left to die after its front legs were amputated between 8pm on Thursday August 15 and 7am the following day.
He also said he could not rule out links to the killing of a foal found dead in a suspected satanic cult sacrifice at Yennadon Downs, Dartmoor, last month.
There were traces of white paint on one of its legs and patches of burnt moorland near the carcass.
PC Condy-Young urged anyone with information or suspicions about the attack to come forward.
He said the isolated nature of the crimes made for a difficult investigation.
“It’s hard to say who would do this sort of thing.
“It may be a homeless person who has some knowledge of butchery and who has had the meat, then has taken a malicious glee in seeing the distress caused by putting the remains back.
“We just don’t know.”
*Anyone who has any information that may assist with the investigation is asked to call police on the 101 quoting crime numbers JC/13/376, JC/13/435 and JC/13/436.