Police were tipped off on Sunday that live sheep had been seen entering a pizzeria in Tidaholm in central Sweden.
When police arrived 90 minutes later to search the premises, they found three live male sheep in the basement, as well as the remains of a fourth which they believe had been slaughtered.
“There were three six-month-old sheep right in the middle of a room filled with fresh food like vegetables and other goods,” said Tidaholm food inspector Britt Svensson to the local Skaraborgs Allehanda newspaper.
Police took pictures of blood and animal remains, evidence which has strengthened suspicions that a slaughtering took place in basement of the pizzeria.
But one of the owners continues to deny any slaughter took place.
“The owner said that they intended to slaughter the sheep somewhere else and that they had been brought down to the basement because he felt bad about leaving them waiting in the vehicle. But that doesn’t matter. You can’t keep sheep in areas with food in this way,” Svensson told TV4.
The three living sheep have been taken back to their breeder.
“My wife is terribly upset because of all of this. She’s done everything right; she sold the animals living, as it were. You sell live sheep to someone else so they can grow up or be slaughtered later when it’s time,” the breeder told the TT news agency.