Farmers across the country are being urged to be on their guard and check their livestock regularly after around 450 in-lamb cheviot ewes were stolen in the space of 24 hours from a farm in Dumfries and Galloway.

With farmers busy with spring work, calving and lambing, NFU Scotland is encouraging them to make extra time to check their livestock as organised criminals targeting farms becomes an increasing problem.

This latest large-scale theft, valued at around £60,000, took place between 5pm on Sunday 17 April and 5pm on Monday 18 April from an area north of the A708 near Grey Mares Tail in Moffat. Large vehicles would have been needed to move this number of sheep by road and it is hoped that someone with information will come forward.

The Union urges farmers and members of the public to report any suspicious activity, noting down registration numbers and descriptions where possible.

Gemma Thomson, Legal and Technical Policy Manager for NFU Scotland, commented: “The frequency and scale of sheep rustling in Scotland seems to be on the increase.  The logistics involved in a theft of this scale would suggest that this was pre-meditated, which is worrying for the industry.

“We urge farmers to be on their guard and check their flocks more regularly than they normally would. We must remain vigilant and be aware of what’s going on around us, reporting anything suspicious to police as soon possible.”

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.


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