French police on Sunday searched for two suspects wanted in a series of horrific horse mutilations that shocked the county.
Forty cops descended on a small town near Dijon where a horse was attacked on Sunday morning, reports the BBC.
Dozens of horses have been killed or maimed in attacks on pastures across the country since February. Up to 30 attacks have been reported.
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In the latest incident, the horse’s owner called Losne police on Sunday around 2 a.m. local time after seeing lamps in his meadow, the BBC reported.
The Dijon prosecutor’s office told local media that the horse had suffered a flank injury, although the injury was not very serious, according to the BBC.
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The owner’s horse exchanged punches with two men who fled into a cornfield, the Bien Public newspaper in Dijon reported.
“There’s just one scratch and I don’t know if it was stabbed,” Angelique Berger, owner of the Losne Horse Boarding House, told the newspaper.
The police search included K-9s and a helicopter.
Police in the Burgundy region released a composite sketch of one of the suspects last week.
Serge Lecomte, president of the French Equestrian Federation, condemned the attacks, the BBC reported.
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“It’s cruel savagery of a kind we’ve rarely seen before,” he said. “Is it a cult? Cruelty to animals is the precursor to cruelty to humans. “