Page last updated at 16:33 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Sheep butchered for 'unsafe' food

Meat unfit for human consumption could be on sale, after the butchered remains of four pregnant sheep were discovered in County Durham, police have warned.

A member of the public found blood, guts and the bodies of unborn lambs on land near Staindrop, close to Barnard Castle, on Friday.

The carcasses had been removed and it is thought they will be sold illegally.

However the animals had recently been given worming medication and anyone eating the meat could become ill.

Insp Kevin Tuck, from Durham Police, described the scene as "horrific" and said the incident was being treated as cruelty and theft.

He added: "There is no doubt those responsible may be trying to sell meat cheaply.

"We advise anyone being offered it not to touch it and contact us as soon as possible."

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