POLICE have received reports of a man having sex with a cow.

The shocking incident is said to have happened in the early hours of the morning in Skipwith.

A passer-by saw a young man with what is believed to have been an English longhorn cow and when challenged the man pulled up his brief-style underwear and rode off on a bicycle.

Police say it is not the first time an incident of this nature in Skipwith - which is between York and Selby - has been reported to them.

Farmer Richard Parish, who owns the longhorn cattle in Skipwith, said he could hardly believe it when police telephoned him, but thought anyone who wanted to engage in an unnatural act with one of his cows would have serious difficulty. He said that if the animals know a person is there, but cannot see them, they will move until the person is in their eye line.

But he added: "If we get a bovine-cross-human it might be the making of me."

Sgt Mike Pickersgill, of Selby Police, confirmed that a man had been seen with an animal last month and that it was not the first time.

Sgt Pickersgill said the man has been seen by members of the public engaged in activity with animals at least twice. He has been challenged by members of the public and he has quickly ridden off on his bike.

He added that police have spoken to a man in his 20s from the local area about the incident and that someone found to have had sex with animals could be charged with bestiality.

Under UK law the maximum sentence for someone found guilty of bestiality is two years imprisonment.