A FARMER had to destroy one of his sheep after the animal suffered ‘horrific’ injuries in an attack in Eden.

The incident happened between Thursday (March 21) and Monday in a field next to Upper Eden Rugby Club, Kirkby Stephen, which is known locally as Tarns Bottom.

The field is accessed via a footpath near Westgarth and the farm in question saw five ‘almost identical’ attacks in 2012, Cumbria Police said.

Officers have appealed for information about the latest incident of 'sheep worrying', which probably left the animal in agony for several days.

A spokesman said: “The injuries suffered by the sheep are horrifying, with the latest victim having extensive facial injuries, leaving the unfortunate animal to walk around the field, possibly for a number of days, in great pain prior to being destroyed by the farmer."

Police said they were very keen to speak to anyone with information about the incident, or any other attacks on livestock.

Information should be passed to PC Fairweather on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.