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:
– Tim Price, NFU
"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."