POLICE are investigating two counts of sheep rustling in Co Derry after 13 pregnant ewes were stolen from a field in Claudy.
Between 10am on Wednesday, February 7, and 10.30am the following day the Suffolk/Texel-cross ewes expecting lambs were taken from a field at the junction of Kilcreen Road and Altinure Road.
The animals all had red markings on their left side.
Last month, a total of 50 Texel and Suffolk-bred ewe lambs with orange markings were also reported taken from a field on Teenaght Road in Claudy between 7pm on January 25 and 7am the next morning.
Enquiries are ongoing to determine if the two cases are linked.
Sometime between Wednesday (7th Feb) & Thursday (8th Feb), 13 Suffolk/Texel-cross pregnant ewes were taken from a field in Claudy. Call 101 with information, reference 1564 of 09/02/24. More here: https://t.co/KewlxvOnwv pic.twitter.com/xKcmF5wZxV— Police Derry City and Strabane (@PSNIDCSDistrict) February 13, 2024
Sergeant Johnston of Sperrin Neighbourhood Policing Team in Strabane said of the latest theft: “The removal of these ewes would have required planning and the use of a vehicle, for example a trailer, to transport the animals away from the area. I’m appealing to anyone who recalls seeing any unfamiliar vehicles in the area, between last Wednesday morning and 10:30am the next day, to call us.”
They said the financial impact of the crimes was especially significant.
“The theft of these ewes will be of a significant loss to the farmer. Not only is there the value of the ewes and the lambs, but there is also the cost involved in rearing and farming the animals.
“We’re urging anyone with information about the animals’ whereabouts, or who took them, to get in touch. It may be a detail that you think is insignificant, but it could make a difference.”