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Investigation launched into Gisburn cattle rustling
11:00pm Saturday 27th October 2012 in News
AN investigation has been launched into cattle rustling in the Ribble Valley.
A disgruntled farmer woke up to discover his £15,000 herd of Friesian bullocks had vanished in the early hours of Monday morning.
After getting up to investigate, the farmer at Shuttleworth Hall Farm, discovered track marks in the mud and the gate to his field where the bullocks were grazing had been left open.
Detectives and forensic investigators have been working to under cover clues at the Gisburn farm.
Rustlers are thought to have used a large vehicle to remove the 25 black and white animals from the Burnley Road farm, overnight on Sunday, police said.
Crime scene investigators recovered useable track prints, from an unknown vehicle, which can later be used to catch the thieves.
All of the 15-month-old bullocks had yellow ear tags to match their passports, and can only be disposed of illegally, police said.
DI Jill Johnson, of Ribble Valley CID, is leading the investigation.
She said: “It is unusual for livestock to be stolen like this.
“I appeal to anyone who might have seen a large vehicle or suspicious activity in the Ribble Valley last weekend to contact police.
“A large vehicle travelling around the Ribbloe Valley must have looked suspicious.”
Earlier this year James Hesketh, 20, of Wheatsheaf Avenue, Longridge was found guilty of handling stolen goods and John Kirkham, 65, of Whittingham Lane, Goosnargh admitted theft after 55 pregnant ewes were taken from a farm in chipping.
The pair became the first in Lancashire for 25 years to be convicted of sheep rustling.
Anyone with information should call police on 101.