Bristol

Sixty sheep stolen from field in South Gloucestershire

Thirty ewes and 30 lambs have been stolen from a field in South Gloucestershire.

The animals were taken from Bagstone, near the junction of the Stidcot Lane and the B4058, between 9 and 16 August.

The North Country Mules have brown and white, or black and white faces, off-white fleeces and ear tags and have Charollais-cross lambs.

Police said they were taken by someone who knew about sheep handling, probably with dogs, using a 4x4 and a trailer.

Neighbourhood PC Roger Hopes said: "I would ask anyone who has been offered cuts of lamb for sale door-to-door or in any other unusual circumstances to contact me.

"Obviously, stolen livestock are not taken to reputable slaughterhouses and there is a potential health risk in any such meat, on top of unnecessary suffering for the animals."

PC Hopes said the thieves had lifted the gate off its hinges, and urged farmers to spot-weld washers to the gate pins to prevent this.

In April, South Gloucestershire police set up Rural Watch, bringing together Farm, Horse and Neighbourhood Watch to help rural residents beat crime.

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