1. ITV Report

Stolen sheep dumped in Yeovil

Rural crime team have a new text service for anyone who suspects criminal activity: 81819 Photo: Avon and Somerset Police

Police have seized 52 sheep as part of an ongoing campaign to clamp down on stolen livestock.

They were dumped in a field in Yeovil, some were in such poor condition they had to be put down.

The animals, some of which were sadly in poor condition, included a number of breeds - Mules, Jacobs, Swaledales and a Texel Ram.

Inspector Joanna Mines, who leads the Rural Crime Team, said:

“We believe the sheep we have recovered today are stolen and their tags show that animals within this flock originated from Devon, Somerset and places as far a-field as Cumbria.

“Sadly they haven’t been kept in good condition recently and two had to be put down at the scene, so we will be looking at several offences in relation to animal cruelty in addition to theft.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who believes the animals might be theirs, or anyone who has any information that can help with our enquiries.”

Livestock theft is a problem the Rural Crime Team is taking very seriously. Over 600 sheep went missing during the summer of 2016 and 34 calves were stolen from a farm near Wells two weeks ago.

At the beginning of January, eight Limousine worth £7,000 were stolen overnight from a farm in Dorset.

From the public’s perspective there is a health and hygiene issue in relation to stolen livestock getting into the food chain. Farmers raise their animals, transport and slaughter them according to very strict guidelines which thieves are not necessarily going to adhere to.

– Inspector Mines