Warning after thefts and attempted thefts of sheep in north Worcestershire [#240960619]

The following is posted on behalf of West Mercia Police

Farmers are being warned to be extra vigilant following three recent incidents of sheep theft and attempted sheep theft in north Worcestershire.

Officers from our Rural and Business Crime teams have issued the warning following reports that there have been several incidents in the Iverley area, whereby a pregnant ewe was stolen, a few weeks after two lambs were stolen and there was a further incident when another attempt was made to take lambs from the same location.

On the first occasion it is suspected the thieves discovered the ewe was pregnant, so they abandoned her in a lay-by miles away in Brierley Hill. Fortunately, another farmer found her and returned to her owners.

On Sunday 24 March thieves attempted to steal lambs from a farm in Upton Warren, near Bromsgrove, however the would-be thieves were disturbed by a member of the public and although they tried to flee with the lamb it was left behind. A couple of days ago, two Rams worth around £500 each were reported stolen from a farm in Wildmoor, near Bromsgrove.

Sarah Sceats, Rural and Business Crime Officer for North Worcestershire, said: “We are urging farmers to be extra vigilant of their livestock following these recent incidents.

“We are advising them to take the time to check the perimeters of their land are as secure as possible and, where practical, to keep sheep and lambs as close to the farm as they can.
“You can find further advice on our website on protecting your livestock at Rural crime prevention | West Mercia Police.”

It is believed the thefts and attempted thefts could be for the illegal sale of meat on the black market. Meat bought from criminal sources would not meet the safety standards of shop-bought products.

“We would further warn potential thieves that stealing lambs at this time of year is not only a criminal offence but that in any case they would also not be getting much meat on the bones and that it is also cruel to separate them from their parents which can be particularly distressing for the ewes,” Sarah added.

  • If you live, work, or visit rural communities you are our eyes and ears so you might want to consider joining one of our Rural Watch schemes – a free scheme set up to support communities in the fight against rural crime.
  • Join our police officers and a network of people who share information about crimes in rural areas at Rural Watch | West Mercia Police.