Over 100 lambs stolen from a farm in Cumbria

A farmer in Cumbria has seen over 100 lambs stolen from his farm in the latest incident of livestock theft which has plagued UK farmers this year.

The theft occurred in the Penruddock area of Penrith between September 3 and September 12 according to Cumbria Police.

105 Texel-cross lambs were stolen from a farm in the area, with the tag number being UK108296.

To deter livestock thieves, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) advises farmers to:
  • Padlock field gates;
  • Ensure stock is clearly marked and records are up to date;
  • When possible graze livestock in fields away from roads;
  • Check stock regularly – and vary times of feeding / check ups;
  • Consider a high-tech marking system such as TecTracer which puts thousands of coded microdot markers into a sheep’s fleece;
  • Ask neighbours to report any sightings of unusual vehicles loading sheep;
  • Join a FarmWatch scheme.

Figures have shown that the costs of rural crime have reached an eight-year high in the UK – totalling £54 million in 2019.

Livestock theft was also shown to have increased last year, with the cost going up 9% to £3 million.

Gangs who are taking large numbers of sheep, which are then thought to enter the food chain illegally, are driving up the costs.

The NFU has established that there are three distinct types of livestock thefts currently taking place:
  • Large-scale theft – organised crime with livestock destined for the food chain;
  • Pedigree – rams stolen for their high value as breeding stock;
  • Money laundering – organised criminal gangs buying and selling on sheep at auctions to launder money.

Anyone with information about the theft have been asked to call Cumbria Police or Crimestoppers.