Internet stunt blamed for calf beheading

THE owner of a five-month-old cow which was brutally beheaded said the act could have been filmed for a sick Internet movie.Farmer Robert Emery said he was horrified when he discovered Molly, a beef shorthorn cross, lying dead in grazing marshes in Great Holland, near Clacton.

By Sharon Asplin

THE owner of a five-month-old cow which was brutally beheaded said the act could have been filmed for a sick Internet movie.

Farmer Robert Emery said he was horrified when he discovered Molly, a beef shorthorn cross, lying dead in grazing marshes in Great Holland, near Clacton. Her head was sliced off by a knife and has never been found.

And he has decided to speak out to warn other livestock owners of the potential danger and urge them to keep a close eye on their animals.

The chilling incident was the first of two attacks on animals in Essex and Suffolk in the space of two days.

Mr Emery said: “One of the theories suggested is this could have been done by people taking videos of animals being beheaded for the Internet.

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“A friend of mine had a video of a pig being killed with a chainsaw sent to his mobile phone. I am 34 and have worked with livestock since I could wear wellies but when it got to that point I couldn't watch.

“It is so sickening. I think people like the thrill factor but they are just real sickos.”

When the East Anglian Daily Times made a quick trawl of the Internet yesterday, within seconds we found countless links to voyeuristic sites specialising in beheading and other forms of torture on both humans and animals.

While Mr Emery fears Molly was the victim of thrill-seekers, he stressed he could not rule out the possibility that someone had shot her by accident and then sliced off her head to hide the evidence of the bullet.

“We are very worried about the other three as it is a remote area,” said Mr Emery, who is in partnership with smallholders Peter and Lucy Margetts. “She was our smallest one and we have two other beef shorthorn crosses and an Aberdeen Angus Cross Red Poll.”

The alarm was raised on November 10 by a friend who was clearing ditches.

Mr Emery said: “At first I thought it was a joke and then I saw the carcass. At first we wondered if she could have been savaged by another animal but it was a clean cut and obviously done by a knife of some sort.”

Len Woodrow, Tendring District Council's nature warden, confirmed he attended the scene with RSPCA Inspector Jim Farr.

“I have not come across anything like this before,” he said. “In my opinion, the cow was dead before its head was cut off because there was very little blood on the ground.”

Two days later a horse resting in a stable in Suffolk was subjected to a savage stabbing attack that left it with horrific injuries.

The incident happened on Saturday November 12 between 5am and 6am at Moat House, Banyards Green, Laxfield, near Halesworth.

The horse, named Banah and owned by Simone Peck, suffered injuries including a deep gash to the rear as well as a cut across the face.

The alarm was raised by Hedley Griffin, a member of spiritual healing group the Erasmus Foundation, which uses Moat House as its headquarters.

He said: "When I got up in the morning to check the horse I found it had been stabbed in the rear and slashed across the face.

"It was obviously very distressed and in a lot of pain so I called the vet immediately and he arrived to sedate it. He stitched up the wound on the face but said he was unable do anything about the injury to the back because if he stitched it up the horse would go lame."

No-one from the RSPCA was available for comment last night.

sharon.asplin@eadt.co.uk

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