The farmer whose premises were targeted by suspected animal rights activists has said that five creatures died following the attack.

Police believe activists were behind the incident at a farm near Kendal, which they say could have caused a serious motorway accident.

The offender(s) cut through fences and pushed down a stonewall at the Gatebeck farm, sometime between Thursday night (May 24) and Friday morning, releasing several wild boar into a field adjoining the M6.

Police said that only "good fortune" had prevented the powerful animals from forcing their way on to the nearby carriageway, causing a serious collision.

Farmer Peter Gott confirmed that a sow and four piglets were killed as a result of the melee caused by different breeds and sexes of the animals being released together, when they are normally kept apart.

Two tractors at the farm had tyres slashed.

Meanwhile, the same night, The Highwayman public house, at Burrow, near Kirkby Lonsdale - which has wild boar on its menu -had graffiti sprayed across the building, windows smashed and car tyres slashed in the car park.

Police think both attacks could be linked.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Cumbria Police on 0845-3300247.