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
Emma Jesson brings you Sunday night's forecast
The Met Office have issued a yellow "Be Aware" warning of heavy rain for the region which is valid from 3pm Sunday until 3pm Monday
Emma Jesson brings you Saturday night's forecast