Avon and Somerset Police are investigating the rustling of 200 in-lamb sheep from a field at Ash, near Martock, on Friday night, 6th February. All the sheep were ear-tagged and marked with a large red patch on their backs, as well as an orange one on a front shoulder. They were all North Country Mules, mostly pregnant ewes.
WPC Rowan Hawkins, from the Rural Crime Team believes “To take such a large number of animals is a highly organised crime and will require access to suitable facilities.” Subsequently police recovered a stolen vehicle used to transport them in Ilford, near Ilminster, after it had been torched. A Leyland Daf box van, V registration and cream in colour, was stolen on the same night from a business at Broadshard near Crewkerne, probably about 11.30pm. police also believe that the crime may be connected with a Long Sutton farm burglary on Thursday in which sheep feed, lambing equipment and hurdles were taken. It happened between 2am and 10pm in the Knightlands Lane area.
Police are appealing to the farming community for anyone with any information which can assist in this investigation to come forward as soon as possible as they do have some lines of enquiry that they are following.
If you saw anyone acting suspiciously or any vehicles involved, or have any information which may help in the investigation, please call 101 and quote reference 13272/15. If you wish to give information in strict confidence, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111