Six pregnant sheep belonging to a Protestant farmer from Co Tyrone have been daubed with Irish tricolours in an apparent sectarian attack.
The sheep had been left to graze in an isolated field near Ardboe when their coats were covered in green and orange paint to resemble a tricolour.
According to the farmer, who does not want to be identified, there has been an upsurge in sectarian attacks in recent weeks.
He said the ewes were pregnant and fears that some may lose their unborn lambs as a result of the stress they suffered during the incident.
The farmer said republican graffiti has been sprayed on roads near his home, a tricolour has been placed in a field and gates have been left open.
Ulster Unionist MLA Billy Armstrong, who knows the farmer, described the incident as sectarian and intended to intimidate people.
“This was no Halloween prank, it was a sectarian attack. There is always a seriousness behind this type of activity,” he said.