Nova Scotia police are investigating after a farmer discovered a slaughtered pig carcass on his property amid reports of pigs and chickens being stolen in the area.

Melvin Burns, one of the owners of Moo Nay Farms in Shubenacadie, N.S., told CTV Atlantic on Thursday that he was making the usual rounds on his farm earlier this week when he heard a strange buzzing noise. The sound was coming from flies swarming around the carcass of a dead sow on a plastic sheet.

“Somebody had butchered it onto this piece of plastic and there was still fresh blood and maggots on the plastic when I pulled it out,” Burns said. “It just wasn’t a natural occurrence.”

Although the pig’s head was in an advanced state of decomposition, Burns said he was still able to recognize it as one of his own hogs that had been missing for three weeks.

Along with the sow, Moo Nay Farms is missing a litter of eight piglets as well as 40 chickens.

According to Burns the apparent thefts are all the more shocking because the only way to access the section of the field where the animals were taken is through his front yard. Bianca Massarella, another owner of the farm, said she feared for her own safety.

“It's scary for me. I do a lot of my chores at night,” Massarella said. “What if I run into somebody that's here? If they're willing to kill my pig on the property, I don't know what they would do to me.”

Burns and Massarella aren’t the only ones in the area who have had livestock stolen from their properties.

Amy Hill, the owner of Snowy Hill Farms, said she went out to count her chickens after learning, via social media, about the thefts at Moo Nay Farms. She said her farm is missing 33 chickens.

“That’s a big hit for our farm,” Hill said. “We don’t have the money to make up for that. It makes you feel unsafe that someone would come onto your property and just take from you like that.”

The RCMP are conducting an investigation, but said it’s still too early to say whether the two incidents are related or not. They said the best defence is for neighbours to keep a watchful eye on each other’s properties and report any suspicious activity.

Hill has already installed a new padlock on her chicken coop and is looking into other security measures, but she said she’s still out approximately $900 in profits. Moo Nay Farms said they’ve lost close to $5,000.

With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff