Farmers across the country have been urged to be on their guard and check their livestock regularly after a flock of 450 in-lamb cheviot ewes – valued at £60,000 – were stolen from a farm in Dumfries & Galloway.
With farmers busy with spring work, calving and lambing, NFU Scotland yesterday encouraged producers to make extra time to check their livestock, warning that organised criminals targeting farms had become an increasingly widespread problem.
This latest large-scale theft took place between 5pm on Sunday 17 April and 5pm on Monday 18 April from a hill farm north of the A708 near Grey Mares Tail in Moffat.
Urging anyone who had any information to contact the police, Detective Inspector Scott Young from Dumfries Police Office said: “The theft of such a large amount of sheep would have required careful planning and obviously there must have been vehicles used.”
The union also asked anyone noticing any suspicious activity around stock fields to note down registration numbers and descriptions and report it to the police.
“The frequency and scale of sheep rustling in Scotland seems to be on the increase,” said the union’s legal and technical policy manager, Gemma Thomson.
“The logistics involved in a theft of this scale would suggest that this was pre-meditated, which is worrying for the industry. We must remain vigilant and be aware of what’s going on around us.”
Any information can be reported to Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Information can also be reported to Crimestoppers anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111.