Farmers warned animal theft on increase across Wales

Sheep Image copyright AP
Image caption A farmer in Ceredigion had 135 sheep taken from his farm

Farmers are being warned that animal theft is on the increase in Wales with criminals in England believed to be targeting farms across the border.

Despite a 3% fall in livestock theft last year in the UK, there was an 18% increase in Wales, according to insurance firm NFU Mutual.

They warn a crackdown on rural crime in north west England has seen criminals move into Wales.

One such crime prevention scheme is the Lancashire Livestock Initiative.

The scheme sees farmers, auctioneers and police share information on social media about rural crimes so everyone is aware of criminal activity.

Farmer Derrick Davies, from Llanddewi-Brefi in Ceredigion lost 135 of his sheep earlier this year after they were taken from the hillside around his farm.

He said: "They've just disappeared. We've looked for them thinking maybe they're on neighbours' land, but nobody's seen them.

"So we don't understand where they've gone."

The Farmers Union of Wales thinks sheep may be taken over the border to illegal slaughterhouses.

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