HORSE owners have been urged to be on their guard after thieves chopped the tails from two animals - apparently to make hair extensions.
The horses, Tegan and Tojo, were grazing in a field when the thieves chopped off about 4ft of their tails.
Owners across the country are being warned after the incident near Kennford, Devon.
Details of the incident are being posted on UK Horsewatch, which combats equestrian crime.
Owner Carolyn Williams said she was "really upset".
She added: "It will take years for the tails to grow back. They used them for swishing away flies."
Although the horses were not hurt, what had happened was "very cruel," she said.
A police spokesman said it was believed that horse tails were used to make hair extensions. Those taken in the incident may be sold to a wig maker.
"It is not an unusual occurrence in the equestrian world," he added.
Owners were urged to check their horses, to try to keep them close by and to make access difficult.
In October this year one horse had to be put down and two others were left traumatised after their manes and tails were cut off near Maidstone, Kent.