Home > News > News stories > Rural > Sheep worth thousands of pounds stolen as police warn of devastating impact of livestock theft

Sheep worth thousands of pounds stolen as police warn of devastating impact of livestock theft

Last modified: 29 September 2020 at 01:26pm

Police are appealing for information and urging farmers to be vigilant, after dozens of sheep were stolen from a North York Moors farm.

Sometime in the last few months, nearly 80 sheep belonging to a farm in Castleton went missing from open moorland. The farmer has contacted neighbouring farms, but there is no sign of the sheep.

There were 41 ewes and 38 lambs, all of the distinctive Rough Fell breed. Most have yellow tags bearing the number 127821. They also have their left ear notched and two blue stripes across their back.

12200165977 sheep back markings

Anyone with information about the sheep – particularly if they are found in a different location or offered for sale – is asked to contact PC 829 Wayne Leith, by emailing wayne.leith@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk, quoting reference number 12200165977.

The stolen sheep would have a value of thousands of pounds. Their details have been circulated to auctioneers, Rural Watch groups and other police forces. North Yorkshire Police’s specialist rural crime officers are urging farmers and residents in rural areas to be vigilant.

Speaking earlier this year, Inspector Matt Hagen of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce said: “Farmers are doing their best to make a living and keep food on our tables in these difficult times – so having livestock stolen is the last thing they need.

“Livestock theft can be devastating for farmers and their businesses, as well as causing unnecessary suffering to animals. If you think you have been a victim, or you have any information about who is committing these crimes, please call us. We take all reports extremely seriously as we work to keep these criminals away from North Yorkshire’s farms.”

Officers are offering crime prevention advice to North Yorkshire farmers, urging people to report suspicious activity in the countryside, and are keeping up regular patrols in rural areas.

Farmers in North Yorkshire are encouraged to:

  • ensure your stock is clearly marked, and records are kept up-to-date,
  • consider investing in a high-tech marking system,
  • where possible, graze livestock in fields away from roads,
  • check stock regularly – and vary feeding and check-up times,
  • join a Rural Watch scheme to share information about rural crime in your area,
  • report any suspicious activity to North Yorkshire Police, via 101, and ask neighbours to do the same,
  • dial 999 immediately if a crime is in progress – do not approach the suspects yourself.

If a crime is in progress, or someone suspected of a crime is nearby, call 999. If you don’t need an emergency response, call 101.

Posted on in News stories, Rural