North Yorkshire Police is appealing for information after 11 sheep were stolen from a field in Hutton Mulgrave, Whitby.

The theft occurred between 7:00p.m on Wednesday, May 15, and 5:00a.m on Friday, May 17, 2024.

The sheep are described as Texel Cross hoggs with a mix of white and brown faces. They may have faded orange spray marks on their shoulders.

The sheep are tagged in both ears with their UK flock number, North Yorkshire Police said.

PC Jack Donaldson, from the force’s rural task force (RTF), said: “Livestock theft causes a significant financial loss to farmers, totalling £2.7m in 2022 according to NFU Mutual figures.

“The emotional and mental health impacts on farmers can be devastating. Farmers often raise their stock from the day they are born, and for them to disappear overnight into criminal hands causes great anxiety and stress, as animals are often mistreated by the criminals.”

Livestock theft

North Yorkshire Police said livestock theft is a national rural crime priority.

“The rural task force is working together with the National Rural Crime Unit who, this year, introduced PC Martin Beck as the national lead for tackling livestock theft,” the force said.

“Operation Foldyard has been introduced to collate intelligence and disseminate data to forces across the UK to assist teams like the RTF catch those responsible.

“Information provided by the public is paramount to our investigations and building up the intelligence picture.”

Those with any information on the incident are urged to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, option 4 and speak to the Force Control Room.

Alternatively, people with information can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via its website.