New sheep-marking system trialled in North Yorkshire

A new sheep-marking system is being trialled in North Yorkshire in a bid to tackle the issue of sheep rustling.

The TecTracer system is adapted from technology used to protect church roofs from lead thieves. It ingrains thousands of coded markers into the sheep's fleece.

Once these markers are attached to the animal's coat, it is easy to identify any sheep that has been marked, and which farm it originated from.

According to the NFU Mutual Rural Crime Report 2016, livestock rustling remains a huge problem, with costs stubbornly high in the North East, Northern Ireland and the South West of England. At a total cost to the UK of £2.9 million, 70 per cent came from these three regions alone.

Whilst in 2015 equine crime is down by a quarter, the cost of livestock theft has risen by seven per cent.