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Two Dunedin men were charged with cruelty to an animal and burglary after allegedly taking two sheep from a farm north of the city and then slaughtering them on Christmas evening.
Senior Sergeant Kelvin Lloyd said the men were stopped driving back to Dunedin after police received reports about 9pm that offenders had been seen stealing sheep in the Merton area.
The men, aged 30 and 40, allegedly slaughtered the sheep inhumanely and had them in the car when they were apprehended.
Snr Sgt Lloyd said the car was a ''bit of a mess'' when police stopped it.
The men were charged with two counts of cruelty to an animal and one count of burglary. They were remanded on bail to reappear on January 15 after appearing in Dunedin District Court yesterday morning.
Snr Sgt Lloyd said the animal cruelty charges reflected how police regarded the manner in which the sheep were killed.