A teenager has been left heartbroken after his beloved pet sheep he bottle-fed as a lamb was slaughtered and BEHEADED by callous thugs.
Devastated Jack Ellis, 14, hand reared eight-year-old Moppet from birth and even nursed her back to health after she was shot in the eye last year.
But the young shepherd was left distraught last Friday after cruel yobs brutally butchered the pregnant ewe for her meat.
They left behind Moppet’s decapitated head and guts strewn across the field after killing her on a 15-acre smallholding near Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.
Furious Jack said he was “absolutely gutted” to discover his pet’s carcass had been stolen leaving a “bloodbath like a scene from a horror film” behind.
He added: “I’ve had Moppet for years so I was very close to her.
“To hear what has happened was shocking – it’s horrific.
“Whoever has done this is just vile. I hope the meat poisons them. I think they are scum.”
Jack’s aunt Sue Birch – who keeps around 50 pedigree sheep at the site – made the grim discovery on Friday afternoon.
But the family decided to wait until after the weekend to tell the schoolboy the bad news so they didn’t spoil his 14th birthday on Saturday (11/1).
Sue, 39, from Blurton, Stoke-on-Trent, added: “I went to check the sheep on Friday and all I found was the head and all the guts.
“I was shocked, it was horrible. The worst bit is thinking these people are likely to come back for another sheep.
“Jack turned 14 on Saturday so we had to keep this from him until afterwards.
“He was shocked, angry and now he’s really upset and worried they are going to come back.
“He comes with me most weekends to do some farming and he’s a very conscientious shepherd.
“He bottle-fed Moppet from when she was young. Last year she was shot by hooligans and lost an eye.
“Over the last 12 months he’s built up more of a bond with her – getting her through something she could have died from.
“No animal deserves to die like this.”
Moppet was pregnant with twins due in March when she was killed.
But yesterday vets issued a public health warning after it emerged the sheep was on medication which would make her meat unfit for human consumption.
Before she was slaughtered, Moppet had been given a dose of Ivermectin – which is used to treat worming and external parasites.
The medication can kill Border Collie dogs and even be harmful to humans suffering from allergies or asthma.
Stoke-on-Trent’s public health director Professor Zafar Iqbal added: “What happened to this poor sheep is truly appalling.
“The perpetrator is cruel and criminal and their actions could also put human lives at risk.
“The animal was sick so eating any part of this animal could be dangerous to human health.
“The message is clear, only buy meat if it is fully traceable. If it’s cheap and you can’t tell where it’s come from, then don’t buy it.
“There are stringent laws to protect the health and well-being of animals during their lives and when they are slaughtered.
“These controls also ensure meat is safe to eat.”
Staffordshire Police are also appealing for help to find Moppet’s killers.
A spokesman said: “Police were called at around 3pm on Friday to reports of a sheep having been slaughtered in a field near Longton.
“The offender is believed to have attacked the sheep overnight and removed the carcass but left the head and entrails.”