Northern Ireland

Cross-border operation to combat sheep smuggling

The operation has been looking at the movement of sheep across the Irish border
Image caption The operation has been looking at the movement of sheep across the Irish border

A major cross-border operation has been carried out into alleged sheep smuggling between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

It took place in Gortnagriffin, near Florencecourt in County Fermanagh, on Wednesday 12 September.

A large number of untagged sheep, cash, cheques, veterinary medicine and animal ear tags were uncovered.

The PSNI said the find was "significant".

The operation involved the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Social Services, the PSNI and Revenue and Customs.

Department of Agriculture officials in the Republic of Ireland also carried out raids on their side of the border.

Stolen animals

PSNI Inspector Roy Robinson said it was part of an ongoing operation into cross-border criminality involving the movement of sheep.

"There have been concerns about the thefts, illegal movement and identification of livestock in border areas and a suspicion that the stolen animals were being moved across the border from both sides into the other jurisdiction," he said.

"We have carried out a number of search operations recently, however, this is the most significant series of finds.

"Dealing with rural crime is a priority for police in Fermanagh, whether that is the theft of livestock or machinery."

He appealed for anyone with information about such criminal activity to contact police.

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