Figures show that the cost of sheep rustling increased by 170% between 2010 and 2011. In the UK, it is thought that 67,000 sheep were stolen at a cost of £6 million last year. Insurers NFU mutual saw a 166% rise in claims of stolen livestock in Scotland.
Rural Affairs spokesman Tim Price says high meat prices and improved security on farm vehicles aappear to be leading a resurgence in livestock rustling.
Tim Price, rural affairs spokesman, NFU Mutual said:
"In the last year we have seen a worrying increase in thefts in all livestock rearing parts of the UK. There is a close correlation between the price of commoditiesand the lefel of theft. In recent years it has seen thefts of metal rocket when scrap prices have been high; thefts of diesel from farm, increases in line with oil prices, and now the same thing appears to be happening with livestock."
More top news
A look ahead at a lively start to the weekend
The 7th Harley Davidson Wake the Lakes Festival is underway.
Concerns about the safety of the hospital's PFI building have been raised by the NHS Trust. The fire service says improvements are needed.