Dartmoor sheep dyed orange to deter theft

John Heard said the orange sheep orange made people think twice about rustling

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A Dartmoor farmer has dyed his sheep orange to deter rustlers.

John Heard, 49, who has lost 200 sheep from his farm near Okehampton, has dyed 250 blackface ewes after an idea his son James got from farmers in Scotland.

He said the sheep's highly identifiable coats, which are harmless to the animals, had put the rustlers off.

The National Farmers' Union has reported an increase in sheep thefts due to the high price of lamb.

Mr Heard said: "James was working in Scotland and saw some sheep which had been dyed.

"It's put an end to the rustling because it makes people think twice about it."

He said the dye, which will have almost grown out by shearing time in July, also helped manage the sheep on the moor by making them easier to spot.

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