Gisborne police have arrested four people in connection with stock thefts in the region.
More than 70 animals have been reported stolen from farms in the past two months, but police say that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Police executing search warrants at two Gisborne properties say they found two slaughtered sheep at one house and two at another, with seven more sheep tied up ready for slaughter in the back yard.
Those arrested face charges of theft and receiving stolen property.
Sergeant Isaac Ngatai of Gisborne police says it's important that farmers report stolen stock.
Police also appealing for information about vehicles associated with dumped offal and carcasses around the region.