Twenty young calves were killed by a single battery in a field in Kerry last week. Gardai are investigating the deaths.

The 20 calves were in a single field in Tarbert in North Kerry. The farmer discovered 14 dead and informed the Gardai.

Since then a further six who were ill have died.

The cause is believed to be a single car battery which was discovered in the same field. The Gardai believe the lead leeched into the ground and from there was ingested by the calves. They then died from lead poisining.

There is no evidence as yet that this was a malicious act but it emphasises the damage that can be caused by dumping of items that need careful disposal.

GardaĆ­ are appealing to the public for anyone with information to come forward, particularly if anyone was seen acting suspiciously in the area between Wednesday and Sunday of last week.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact gardai in Listowel on 068 21000 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.