Be extra vigilant - sheep stolen near Dufton, Appleby

The NFU is appealing to all sheep farmers in Cumbria to be extra vigilant following the theft of 26 one-year-old pedigree Swaledale breeding sheep by thieves who clearly had expertise in rounding up livestock.  Cumbria Police confirmed the sheep, worth £46,800, were stolen at a point during the late evening of Friday 10 April and the early hours of Saturday 11 April from an eight acre field at Long Marton. 

Mr Richardson’s main farm is Ghyll House in Dufton where he keeps more than 1,000 sheep. He has farmed there all of his life and is well known in the Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association. Mr Richardson said: “These sheep were from amongst the best of the flock from that year’s batch. I thought a lot of them. It doesn’t look like they have been stolen for the meat market. They were in a field next to hundreds of fattening sheep which were much easier to steal. This would suggest that the thieves have definitely known which sheep to go for.” 

Cumbria Police PCSOs Karen Dakin said “Mr Richardson contacted the police at 2pm on 11 April after making an unsuccessful search for his missing sheep. We sent out an alert for information via Cumbria Community Messaging, contacted local auction marts and have informed adjoining police forces. The quality of these Swalesdales means they will be noticeable.”

Anyone who has information about this crime should call Crimestoppers on 0800 111 555 or the police on 101. Please quote incident number: CP-20150411-0183. The sheep have a red and blue wool mark on the loin, a slit in the near ear and are stowed on the far ear. The holding numbers on the tags is: UK1030 4.