Sheep worth thousands stolen from North Yorkshire farm

The sheep are all of the distinctive Rough Fell breed Credit: Cleveland Police

Police are urging farmers to be vigilant after dozens of sheep were stolen from a North York Moors farm.

The stolen sheep are worth thousands of pounds and police say this is "devastating" for the people involved.

Nearly 80 sheep belonging to a farmer in Castleton went missing from open moorland - 41 ewes and 38 lambs.

They are all of the distinctive Rough Fell breed and most of them have yellow tags bearing the number 127821. They also have their left ear notched and two blue stripes across their back.

Anyone with information about the sheep – particularly if they are found in a different location or offered for sale – is asked to contact PC 829 Wayne Leith, by emailing, quoting reference number 12200165977.

Farmers are doing their best to make a living and keep food on our tables in these difficult times – so having livestock stolen is the last thing they need. Livestock theft can be devastating for farmers and their businesses, as well as causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

Speaking earlier this year, Inspector Matt Hagen of North Yorkshire Police

Police are encouraging farmers in North Yorkshire to:

  • ensure your stock is clearly marked, and records are kept up-to-date,

  • consider investing in a high-tech marking system,

  • where possible, graze livestock in fields away from roads,

  • check stock regularly – and vary feeding and check-up times,

  • join a Rural Watch scheme to share information about rural crime in your area,

  • report any suspicious activity to North Yorkshire Police, via 101, and ask neighbours to do the same,

  • dial 999 immediately if a crime is in progress – do not approach the suspects yourself.