Police are appealing for witnesses after a piglet was horrifically decapitated in broad daylight in Spofforth on Saturday,
The incident took place between 10am and 6pm at a free-range piggery on Park Lane.
Police say the culprit, who is believed to have used a knife, then left the carcass at the scene but took away the piglet’s head.
PC Mark Ayres, of the Knaresborough Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This is an appalling crime.
“I would ask anyone who has any information about this offence to contact the police as a matter of urgency.”
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said they were confident this was a deliberate act.
“Without being too graphic we are confident that this was not done by another animal as the line was very clean cut to the piglet’s body.
“This is a particularly horrible crime.”
Owner of the Gloucester Old Spot cross piglet Gary Marston said the animal was only three weeks old and was part of a litter of ten.
“The person who did this was a very sick individual. I just hope the police catch them.”
Gary and his brother Carl have been keeping rare breeds for 18 months and Gary said they have never suffered an incident like this before.
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Mark Ayres on 08456060247, ref 12110142657, or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.