Thieves steal 13 pregnant sheep from farm in Derry

Thieves steal 13 pregnant sheep from farm in Derry

POLICE have appealed to the public for information after 13 pregnant ewes were stolen from a farm in Derry.

The theft from a farm in Claudy is believed to have occurred sometime between 10am on February 7 and 10.30am on February 8.

PSNI officers investigating the theft, claim it is a “significant loss” to the farmer, adding that the act would have required detailed planning.

In a statement, Sergeant Johnston, of Sperrin Neighbourhood Policing Team in Strabane, said: "The removal of these ewes would have required planning and the use of a vehicle, for example a trailer, to transport the animals away from the area.

“I'm appealing to anyone who recalls seeing any unfamiliar vehicles in the area, between last Wednesday morning and 10.30am the next day, to call us.”

He added:  "The theft of these ewes will be of a significant loss to the farmer.

“Not only is there the value of the ewes and the lambs, but there is also the cost involved in rearing and farming the animals.

“We're urging anyone with information about the animals' whereabouts, or who took them, to get in touch.

“It may be a detail that you think is insignificant, but it could make a difference."

Thirteen pregnant Suffolk/Texel-cross ewes have been stolen

The PSNI has confirmed that the 13 Suffolk/Texel-cross ewes, who were all expecting lambs, were taken from a field at the junction of Kilcreen road and Altinure Road.

The ewes all had red markings on their left side.

The theft follows a similar incident which occurred in Claudy last month.

“Last month we received a report of 50 Texel and Suffolk-bred ewe lambs, with orange markings, taken from a field on Teenaght Road in Claudy sometime between 7pm on  January 25 and 7am on January 26,” Sergeant Johnston explained.

“Enquiries are ongoing in relation to this, including to establish if this is linked with the theft on Kilcreen Road.”

He added: "In the meantime, to work to prevent these type of thefts, there are a number of steps farmers can take to reduce the risk including padlock field gates, ensure stock is clearly marked and records are up to date, check stock regularly, vary times of feeding/check-ups and ask neighbours to report any sightings of unusual vehicles loading sheep.

"The tighter your farm security, the more difficult it will be for thieves to steal your livestock, or equipment."