Pig producers are being warned urged to be vigilant for rustlers after more than 200 weaners were stolen from a farm in Shropshire.
Paul Furniss discovered the animals were missing from his 1100-acre arable and livestock farm in Chetwynd, near Newport, on Wednesday (27 January) when he went to feed them.
He said the 210 pigs, aged between five and seven weeks, were taken from the family farm at some point between 5pm on Tuesday and 7am the following morning.
“The thieves drove up through the farm, past the farmhouse and up to the pens. We assume they came with a Land Rover and trailer to load them all up.
“I think they had been round the farm before because they didn’t rummage around anywhere else and they knew where to drive to.”
Mr Furniss said the pigs were worth more than £20,000, but even if they were found he would be concerned about the risk of any disease they may have caught.
“There’s also a risk the thieves brought disease on to the farm on their boots or on the car tyres. It’s very annoying if these pigs are being stolen to order by a farmer.”
Barney Kay, National Pig Association general manager, said the theft could be part of a spate of pig rustlings.
“Paul’s farm is only 30 miles away from a pig unit which had 500 pigs stolen last year,” he said.
“I’ve also had reports of another producer who lost pigs in 2008.
“There’s definitely something going on and it’s perhaps more widespread because people don’t come forward to let us know.”
Mr Kay said the NPA was keen to hear from producers whose pigs had been taken to help police learn how big the problem was.
Anyone with any information can contact him on 07814 448 956.