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File image of sheep in a field in Co Derry Alamy Stock Photo
rural crime

Fifty lambs stolen in Co Derry, while a ‘significant number of sheep’ taken in Co Antrim

The PSNI has warned current sheep prices are making farmers a ‘target for criminals intent on making money’.

THE PSNI HAS warned that current sheep prices are making farmers a “target for criminals” after the theft of sheep and lambs in Co Derry and Co Antrim last week.

In Co Antrim, a “significant number of sheep” were stolen from land in the Hamillstown Lane area of Portglenone on Sunday.

Portglenone is a village close to Ballymena and a PSNI spokesperson said it’s believed that the incident happened between 12pm on Saturday and 9am on Sunday morning.

The spokesperson added that it represents a “huge financial loss to the owner responsible for the sheep” and noted that similar thefts have happened in recent months and in recent days.

“The current prices sheep are attracting, although good news for the farming industry, does then lend itself as being a target for criminals intent on making money from their criminality,” said the PSNI spokesperson.

The spokesperson remarked that the prevention of this sort of rural crime “needs the cooperation from farmers and the wider rural community by taking proactive safety measures to ensure their flock is secure at all times”.

The PSNI is appealing to or anyone who may have observed suspicious activity, or spotted any unknown vehicles such as large trailers in the Portglenone area in the last few days, to contact them.

Meanwhile, police in the North are investigating a separate incident in which 50 lambs were stolen from a field in Co Derry.

The Texel and Suffolk-bred ewe lambs, which have orange markings, are reported to have been taken from a field on Teenaght Road in Claudy sometime between 7pm on Thursday, 25 January and 7am on Friday 26 January.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “To transport these lambs anywhere would have required a trailer and so we are keen to hear from anyone who was in the Teenaght Road area between the reported times, or earlier in the week, and saw any suspicious activity or unfamiliar vehicles.”

Similar rural crime was reported in November, when a “substantial number of sheep” were stolen from a field in Coleraine in Co Derry.

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