A Fresian cow, shot in the head, lying alongside a Fresian bull calf dumped by the side of a forest track off a main road outside Limavady - this was the horrifying discovery made by a walker at the scenic Loughermore Forest today.
The gruesome find has shocked residents of the quiet scenic area off the New Line Road.
Local farmers who spoke with the ‘Journal’ shortly after the animals were discovered said they’d never seen the like of it before.
“I’ve seen plenty of dead sheep and lambs dumped in my time,” one farmer told the ‘Journal’, “but never anything as bad as this. It’s disgusting how anyone could do that.”
The farmer believes the animals were dumped overnight. It is thought the cow had its left ear cut off in order to remove the tag, and any means of tracing its owner. The calf, thought to be about eight months to a year old, also had its tags removed.
A spokesperson from the Limavady branch of the Ulster Farmers Union said 99 per cent of farmers are good and adopt proper farming practises but, when something like this occurs it doesn’t give farming a good name.
“To think somebody could do something that callous is ridiculous, and they don’t deserve to keep animals,” added the spokesperson.
Local TUV councillor Boyd Douglas has been dairy farming for 45 years.
“Its outrageous someone could do this, and of course there is also a health issue. The fact is the law is very clear on how we deal with this. There is a disposal and collection system available and 99 per cent of farmers use this when needed, but it’s unfortunate there is still dumping that takes place. There could be a spread of disease because we won’t know where these animals have come from, so that is a concern for the rest of the farming community.”
A spokesperson for Limavady Borough Council said officers had examined the situation and “it would appear that, at the moment, the animals are on property belonging to the Forest Service and we will refer the matter to them for attention.”