GARDAI have warned farmers to step up security at their lands where sheep are grazing near public roads – after ruthless meat thieves snatched animals and butchered one in a field, writes Patsy McArdle.
The incident was the second in the Cavan/Monaghan Division in which sheep have been killed by butcher gangs.
Farmer Jimmy Tully of Stradone, near Cavan town, said he was "shocked" to discover what had happened to his herd.
"There is no doubt but that one of the sheep was butchered in the field and three others apparently taken away by the thieves," he added.
Gardai said it is likely the sheep gang is using a van to patrol Border roads to "target" vulnerable sheep flocks on farms close to roads, to exploit the pre-Christmas market.