The remains of 22 cattle apparently left to starve to death have been found on a Co Armagh farm.
The gruesome discovery was made by vets from the Department of Agriculture at farm buildings near Darkley yesterday afternoon. Another two animals had to be put down.
Vets found 16 dead cows, one dead bull, and one dead calf in one building. Four young cattle were found dead in another house, with one being destroyed by vets.
More cattle were found in a field in a poor condition, and one of them was also put down.
Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew said: “This is a dreadful case which obviously involved much suffering by a large number of animals,” she said. “A full investigation will be carried out and all possible help and treatment will be offered to the surviving cattle.
“The vets found 18 dead cattle in one building.
“The carcasses were emaciated and no feed or water appeared to be available.”