Lancashire TelegraphSheep rustlers from Yorkshire stealing from Pendle flocks (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Sheep rustlers from Yorkshire stealing from Pendle flocks

Lancashire Telegraph: Sheep rustlers from Yorkshire stealing from Pendle flocks Sheep rustlers from Yorkshire stealing from Pendle flocks

SHEEP rustlers have targeted a Pendle farm for the second time in 12 months, snatching dozens of pregnant livestock.

Police believe criminals from North Yorkshire could be travelling into neighbouring East Lancashire towns to steal the animals, before illegally butchering them and selling the meat on.

It comes as the National Farmers' Union announced a massive increase in the number of incidents - and the number of livestock - being stolen nationally since 2011.

Farmer Barry Hodgson, of Pawson Lee Farm in Wycoller, Colne, realised 33 of his flock had been stolen last week.

A total of 15 of his sheep were snatched in January last year.

He said: “It makes you lose faith in the human race when people do things like this. These sheep are mine and my wife’s livelihood.”

Mr Hodgson’s 208 sheep were impregnated on December 20 and, being hardy Swaledale ewes, were left to graze over the winter in a field out of view from the farmhouse.

When the vet arrived to scan the animals to see how many lambs they were carrying, counting the animals as he did, Mr Hodgson realised his flock was dozens short.

Mr Hodgson, 68, said: “I checked all over the moors and spoke to neighbours, but the sheep were gone.

“Last time they pinched them, they stole the gate as well, but this time they must have driven a wagon over the cattle grid and herded them on.

“I felt angry and upset when I knew what had happened.”

The sheep are valued at between £60 and £70 each, meaning a loss of £2,000 to the farm’s income.

A spokesman for NFU Mutual, which insures 70 per cent of British farmers, said: “Sheep rustling has become a massive problem for farmers in the last three years.

“In 2010, we saw between one and five sheep being stolen, in a handful of incidents.

“But we are now seeing organised criminal groups stealing between 50 and 100 or more sheep at any one time, in many more incidents. It’s a very worrying trend.”

In the north west in 2012, livestock theft cost an estimated £740,000 and is thought to have involved more than 3,000 sheep.

Sgt Shaun Pearson, of Pendle Police, said: “Theft of livestock does get reported to us quite a lot.

“Officers in North Yorkshire are carrying out an operation investigating illegal slaughter coming through their area.

“This could have been the work of criminals crossing the border to rustle the sheep and then taking them to be illegally butchered.”

Mr Pawson’s sheep were marked with a green line on their wool over the last rib on their right side, and had eartags with the reference UK 18 28 52.

A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said: “We are investigating the theft of sheep at Pawson Lee Farm, which happened sometime between December 20 and Sunday, February 9.

“We expect that the sheep were most likely taken to a slaughterhouse within a few hours of being stolen, but if anyone has any information about the incident, we would urge them to call police on 101.”

Comments (11)

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9:19am Mon 17 Feb 14

Darren1951 says...

From the headline, how on earth can the LT possibly know that the thieves are from Yorkshire? Perhaps they are friends of the Yorkshire chap who recently absconded from Kirkham prison, because he didn't enjoy the company of "Lancashire folk and scousers"?
From the headline, how on earth can the LT possibly know that the thieves are from Yorkshire? Perhaps they are friends of the Yorkshire chap who recently absconded from Kirkham prison, because he didn't enjoy the company of "Lancashire folk and scousers"? Darren1951
  • Score: -6

10:14am Mon 17 Feb 14

HarryBosch says...

This story is very worrying considering the traceability around meat entering the food chain. I thought that traceability was a high priority following the horsemeat scandal. How are these criminals introducing the meat into the food chain? If that can't be ascertained then I submit that we are still at risk of another scandal. This needs to be thoroughly investigated.
This story is very worrying considering the traceability around meat entering the food chain. I thought that traceability was a high priority following the horsemeat scandal. How are these criminals introducing the meat into the food chain? If that can't be ascertained then I submit that we are still at risk of another scandal. This needs to be thoroughly investigated. HarryBosch
  • Score: 5

11:27am Mon 17 Feb 14

mmickk says...

The same thing is happening with the fish stocks people from other countries seam to think if its not locked up its free. And its only going to get worse. Farmers should have the right to shoot these scumbags. Or maybe them Dingles are having arranged Marriages!!
The same thing is happening with the fish stocks people from other countries seam to think if its not locked up its free. And its only going to get worse. Farmers should have the right to shoot these scumbags. Or maybe them Dingles are having arranged Marriages!! mmickk
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Mon 17 Feb 14

rudis_dad says...

HarryBosch wrote:
This story is very worrying considering the traceability around meat entering the food chain. I thought that traceability was a high priority following the horsemeat scandal. How are these criminals introducing the meat into the food chain? If that can't be ascertained then I submit that we are still at risk of another scandal. This needs to be thoroughly investigated.
Donner kebab, anyone? Just saying...
[quote][p][bold]HarryBosch[/bold] wrote: This story is very worrying considering the traceability around meat entering the food chain. I thought that traceability was a high priority following the horsemeat scandal. How are these criminals introducing the meat into the food chain? If that can't be ascertained then I submit that we are still at risk of another scandal. This needs to be thoroughly investigated.[/p][/quote]Donner kebab, anyone? Just saying... rudis_dad
  • Score: 4

1:26pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Darren1951 says...

Would someone take the trouble to explain the "thumbs-down" on my earlier posting. The police, apparently, SUSPECT that the thieves are from North Yorkshire. It is not the job of the LT to assume that it is fact, then print a headline of that nature.
Would someone take the trouble to explain the "thumbs-down" on my earlier posting. The police, apparently, SUSPECT that the thieves are from North Yorkshire. It is not the job of the LT to assume that it is fact, then print a headline of that nature. Darren1951
  • Score: -5

6:22pm Mon 17 Feb 14

coates warder says...

maybe payback from the barrowford farmer who stole all them sheep last year from north yorkshire
maybe payback from the barrowford farmer who stole all them sheep last year from north yorkshire coates warder
  • Score: 2

6:47pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Darren1951 says...

Who are these trolls who dish out thumbs-downs just for the sake of it? Presumably, they are too mentally challenged even to give a simple opinion.
Who are these trolls who dish out thumbs-downs just for the sake of it? Presumably, they are too mentally challenged even to give a simple opinion. Darren1951
  • Score: -6

10:27pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Darren1951 says...

UH-OHHH! Troll alert!
UH-OHHH! Troll alert! Darren1951
  • Score: -4

9:36pm Tue 18 Feb 14

doomchanter says...

Motion sensitive cameras are very cheap to install and run of very little power ( I have one in my car £14 of ebay a 16 gig memory card gives hundereds of hours playback ) place a few at strategic points ( hidden ) around the farm and tracks leading to and from ( you only need to check them if you are robbed )
Simple alarms can use a sim and call a preloaded number if triggered then you can investigate further.
Elaborate monitoring systems can be bought for less than £1000 these would at least give number plates and descriptions of the criminals.
It is difficult to police the countryside if the culprits are as " coates warder" pointed out possibly from the farming comunity too.
Motion sensitive cameras are very cheap to install and run of very little power ( I have one in my car £14 of ebay a 16 gig memory card gives hundereds of hours playback ) place a few at strategic points ( hidden ) around the farm and tracks leading to and from ( you only need to check them if you are robbed ) Simple alarms can use a sim and call a preloaded number if triggered then you can investigate further. Elaborate monitoring systems can be bought for less than £1000 these would at least give number plates and descriptions of the criminals. It is difficult to police the countryside if the culprits are as " coates warder" pointed out possibly from the farming comunity too. doomchanter
  • Score: 0

9:42pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Darren1951 says...

Trolls still at it, seemingly. They must lead extremely dull lives if they find their mentally sub-normal antics rewarding.
Trolls still at it, seemingly. They must lead extremely dull lives if they find their mentally sub-normal antics rewarding. Darren1951
  • Score: -1

11:18am Wed 19 Feb 14

Susan Goodfellow says...

Cox Agri with Si Ro Mark offer an inexpensive rustling deterrent. Si Ro Mark Sheep branding fluid provides a bright clear mark which will last for a year when applied to the fleece at shearing.

Choose a paint branding iron with some clear initials suitable for your farm to make your flock less appealing than unbranded sheep.

Great for flocks on shared grazing too. Google Si Ro Mark, to find out more.
Cox Agri with Si Ro Mark offer an inexpensive rustling deterrent. Si Ro Mark Sheep branding fluid provides a bright clear mark which will last for a year when applied to the fleece at shearing. Choose a paint branding iron with some clear initials suitable for your farm to make your flock less appealing than unbranded sheep. Great for flocks on shared grazing too. Google Si Ro Mark, to find out more. Susan Goodfellow
  • Score: 0

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