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Police are appealing for information after a large number of sheep were stolen from moorland near Ingleton, North Yorkshire.

About 100 hog horned sheep went missing from the moorland at the foot of Ingleborough between Sunday 16 April and Saturday 20 May.

The sheep have the ear tag number 125037. two red markings mid-back, and are horn-burned with “JN” on the near horn and “C” and a crown on the far horn.

See also: Rustlers steal 50 sheep in farm raid

Police have previously urged local communities to be vigilant and report suspicious activity that may be linked to livestock theft.

Inspector Jon Grainge, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “The difficulty with the nature of this crime is that it is not necessarily immediately obvious to farmers.”

Wide timeframe

Sometimes it was only possible to identify a shortfall in sheep numbers when a flock was brought in to scan or to worm, said Inspector Grainge.

This often meant police had a very wide timeframe to work with.

Insp Grainge said: “Lines of inquiry are limited, and this is where we need the public’s help to call in suspicious movements of animals, or animals appearing in fields unexpectedly.”

“If you notice anything unusual – a different person attending a flock, or offers of sheep or goats for sale either for meat or as stores – please contact us.”

Insp Grainge also encouraged people to submit any names, vehicle details, registrations or even partial registrations to police.

He added: “If you see something you think is suspicious or out of place, please call it in to the police on 101.”

Security measures

To help prevent livestock theft, farmers are urged to consider security measures such as installing CCTV and keeping hedges, fences and gates in good repair.

It comes as North Yorkshire Police took delivery of a tractor liveried in police colours to highlight the fight against rural crime.

Loaned by Ripon Farm Services, the tractor will be used to engage with local communities at special events, encouraging people to talk about crime prevention.

Visitors to farm show will be able to see the tractor, meet members of the police rural taskforce, and find out how they are fighting countryside crime.

Anyone with information about the Ingleton theft is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number 12170087325.