Dorset Police’s rural crime team has recovered a stolen lamb that had been “sheepnapped” from a field in the area of Sturminster Newton.

One person is in custody for theft and for causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Officers from the Dorset rural crime team made enquiries along with Sturminster Newton NPT and recovered the stolen lamb yesterday (Wednesday, April 17).

The team said one farmer and ewe have been reunited with their lamb, and that its investigation into the incident is continuing.

Stolen livestock

Last week, a rural officer for West Mercia Police said recent livestock thefts could be linked to the illegal sale of meat on the black market.

Rural and business crime officer for North Worcestershire, Sarah Sceats, urged farmers in Worcestershire to be extra vigilant following recent incidences of sheep thefts.

West Mercia Police’s rural and business crime teams issued the warning, following several recent incidents in the Iverley area.

“It is believed the thefts and attempted thefts could be for the illegal sale of meat on the black market,” Sceats said.

“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.”