Seven men arrested after three sheep were found tied up in the back of a van on the M6 have been bailed.
Motorway police found the animals trussed up with shoelaces in the back of the Astra van just after midnight yesterday, at junction 5 of the M6.
Two men, aged 24, were arrested on suspicion of theft and five men aged 23, 26, 29, and 30 were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to steal.
They have been bailed to a date in November while inquiries continue.
Motorway police were surprised this morning when they pulled over a van on a motorway and found three sheep inside.
Officers stopped the Astra van and an Audi A4 just after midnight on the M6 junction 5 and found three sheep tied-up with shoelaces inside the van.
Seven men were arrested, two men aged 24 on suspicion of theft and five men aged 23,26,29 and 30 on suspicion of conspiring to steal.
Motorists are being warned to be aware of animal life on country roads after a flock of sheep were killed when a car collided with them in Staffordshire.
In total seven sheep died in the collision and the motorist left the scene uninjured.
It happened at about 11pm last night on the A53 Leek to Buxton road just past the Winking Man.
A rapid response vehicle and paramedic attended the scene.
Paramedic Area Support Officer, Kevin Errington, said: “Although animals like this are normally in fields, others like deer are not. Please take care whilst driving on country roads, especially at night.”
Sheep farmers in the Midlands who suffered losses due to the recent poor weather will get additional financial support from the Government.
The Government says up to £250,000 will be made available for farmers across the country. The money will cover those who suffered losses like animal deaths due to starvation or hypothermia after it snowed.
A farmer from Hungarton, north of Leicester, is relieved that the majority of his new born lambs are free from the Schmallenberg virus, which killed 40 per cent of his flock earlier this year.
Charles Sercome, farmer of Waterloo Lodge Farm, told ITV News Central that he would have been forced out of business if his latest flock had been infected.
The Schmallenberg virus is spread when midges bite pregnant ewes and lead to lambs developing severe abnormalities.
"The concern is that it's an unknown. It's something very new. It's not just the loss of the lambs. We can be losing the ewes as well."
Peter Clarke, Farmer
The areas in green show counties with confirmed cases of the Schmallenberg infection.
Farmers in Lincolnshire fear it could spread to them.