23/09/2012 16:13 BST

Horse Put Down After Being Mutilated In 'Malicious Attack' Say Police

A horse has had to be put down after a "malicious attack" left it mutilated.

Police have launched a criminal investigation after the nine-year-old mare was attacked some time after 6pm on Friday.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the horse suffered lacerations to her leg which were so severe the animal's traumatised owner had no choice but to allow her to be put to sleep.

Inspector Dave Meredith said: "This was a really nasty and malicious attack, which has brought great trauma on the horse, its owner and the community as a whole.

"It is absolutely horrific that somebody could have caused this to an animal, which has resulted in the horse being put down."

The incident happened in Callington, Cornwall, and follows a similar incident in the west of the county in January when a stallion was mutilated.

However, Mr Meredith said there was nothing to link the two incidents.

"This is a criminal investigation but we are not linking it with other horse deaths in Cornwall," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.