Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Police investigate sheep kill link

Police investigating a recent spate of horrific attacks on sheep in the Ballyholland area say they are examining a possible link with similar attacks carried out in County Armagh two years ago.

A manhunt was launched earlier this month to find the perpetrator(s) behind the slaughter of a number of sheep in two separate attacks near Newry.

The incidents, which occurred just days apart in fields on the Temple Hill Road, Ballyholland, shocked the community and left farmers fearful for the safety of their livestock. Several animals were viciously attacked and had their throats cut and ears sliced off, while others had injuries so severe, they had to be humanely put down by a vet.  In June, six pedigree sheep were killed in the Mass Rock area of Ballyholland – some of them also had their ears removed.

 The attacks bear a striking resemblance to those carried out in Armagh in May 2015 when a number of lambs were stabbed to death and had their ears cut off in two separate incidents at a farm on the Battleford Road outside Armagh city.

According to PSNI District Commander Paul Reid, police are investigating a correlation between the brutal attacks.  He said they had initially ruled out a link between the two latest attacks and the Mass Rock attack but that officers are now reexamining June’s incident and are working with the Department of Agriculture during their investigation.

The District Commander believes someone may have key evidence about the shocking attacks and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.