French police have launched a manhunt for two suspects after the latest in a series of horse mutilations.
Forty officers flew by helicopter to the town of Losne, near Dijon, after a horse was attacked on Sunday morning.
Dozens of horses have been killed or maimed across the country this year, sparking public outcry.
Police do not know why the animals are being targeted, whether it is the work of one person, or whether the initial attacks inspired murders of copier.
In the latest incident, the horse owner called the police at around 2 a.m. local time (1 a.m. BST) on Sunday after seeing lamps in his meadow.
The Dijon prosecutor’s office told local media that the horse suffered a flank injury, although the injury was not very serious.
Over 30 other cases have been reported in France, with horses ending up with their ears and genitals cut off. Another was found disembowelled.
police released an artist’s impression of an alleged perpetrator spotted at the scene.
Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie subsequently promised that those responsible for the attacks would be brought to justice.
“All branches of the state are mobilizing for justice to be done,” said Denormandie during a visit to Saint-Eusèbe, in central France, where a horse’s ear was recently cut.
“There is clearly a professionalism, people acting with a certain level of technique,” he added.
Serge Lecomte, President of the French Equestrian Federation, accompanied Mr. Denormandie during the visit.
“This is cruel savagery of a kind that we have rarely seen before,” he told AFP. “Is it a cult? Cruelty to animals is the precursor to cruelty to humans ”.