A COW has been shot dead in a field near York.

North Yorkshire Police said the animal was shot through the eye in a field at Dunnington at about 11pm on Saturday.

Officers are appealing for witnesses and information over what they described as a 'shocking act of cruelty.'

The Rural Taskforce has joined York police in investigating the incident.

PC Dan Kirven, of York police, said: "I would like the public and members of the local farming community to come to me or the Rural Taskforce with any information they may have that could assist us with our inquiries."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 101, select option 2 and ask for PC Dan Kirven of York police, or PC Hannah McPeake, of the Rural Taskforce. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

"Please quote reference number 12160084756 when passing information about this incident," said a force spokesman.