THE Tayside Division of Police Scotland today appealed for information about four incidents of sheep rustling in Perthshire in the last two months in which more than £40,000 of livestock has been stolen.
Officers investigating the spate of sheep thefts are working with local farmers and livestock auction markets across the area in a bid to track down the thieves.
A force spokesman said that, in the first of the series of raids, a total of 57 Scottish Mule lambs had been taken from a field at Bankhead Farm off the unclassified road between the A9 and Forteviot.
He continued: “Sometime during September thieves returned to Bankhead Farm and stole 30 Texal Cross Cheviot Ewe lambs and one Swarbel cross mule lamb from a field to the north side of the farm on the Dupplin Estate. The sheep are collectively worth about £10,000.
“Beannie Farm at Braco was also targeted. The farmer was undertaking a sheep count on 30 September and discovered 200 black fleece ewe lambs, worth £18,000, had been stolen.
“Also in September, the farmer at Tigh Na Blair Farm at Comrie near Crieff reported the theft of 128 ewe sheep and 29 Hogg ewes, worth £15,000.”
Constable Murray Westwood said: “’The value of these thefts has a serious impact on the farming community. We’re working closely with the farming community and visiting cattle markets and farmers across the area and further to try and trace these stolen animals.
‘’We’d like to appeal to anyone who knows anything about these incidents, or the stealing of any livestock, to come forward and speak to us. If anyone has seen anything suspicious in the areas where these sheep have been taken from I’d urge them to contact us.”
He continued: “’If anyone has been offered any of the animals for sale or offered meat from anything other than genuine and established sources we want know.
‘’The offenders must have had a specialist trailer to take the sheep away. We are asking the farming community to remain vigilant and to keep an eye out for the sheep or any suspicious activity in rural areas.’’
Anyone with any information about the thefts is asked to contact Police Scotland Tayside Division on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.