64 ewes stolen as sheep-stealing spree across Northamptonshire continues

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Police have launched Operation Stock to find those behind a spate of illegal sheep thefts and killings in Northamptonshire (NORTHAMPTONSHIRE POLICE)

The latest incident of sheep theft in Northamptonshire has seen 64 ewes stolen from a farm.

The animals were taken in West Haddon between Wednesday and Thursday.

Police are linking the theft to a spate of incidents across the county in July, with previous killings taking place on farms in Crick, Whilton, Clipston, Kelmarsh and Rushton.

Since February, 81 lambs and sheep have been killed, while 258 have been stolen.

Phil Neal shared an image on Facebook after 14 of his lambs were butchered in July (PARK LANE FARMING)

Northampton Police launched drone patrols to find those responsible for the grizzly attacks, which took place in grazing fields.

The force believes the sheep were slaughtered to be sold illegally to restaurants and shops.

The National Farmers' Union estimates suggest that more than 100 sheep have been illegally slaughtered in Northamptonshire since March.

150 warning signs have been given out to farmers and landowners across the county.

The latest theft is being probed part of Northamptonshire Police's Operation Stock.

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Sergeant Sam Dodds said: “This incident sadly highlights the need for ongoing vigilance from everyone - farmers, residents and everyone living, working or passing through our countryside," he said.

“If you see something which seems unusual or suspicious, please call police immediately - the information you provide could be crucial to our investigation.

“The patrols which have been taking place in this area remain ongoing alongside a range of other policing activity as Operation Stock continues.”

Police are urging farmers and others living in rural parts of the county to remain vigilant.