A young farmer has issued a desperate plea for the safe return of about 200 ewes and lambs, stolen from her family farm in Staffordshire.
Lorna Sidebottom, a member of Middlewich Young Farmers’ Club, said she went on holiday and returned to the farm to find 71 sheep and about 130 lambs missing.
Rustlers stole the sheep sometime last week from parkland on the Sandon Estate, north-east of Stafford.
Ms Sidebottom made a direct appeal to public for help on her Facebook page.
She wrote: “While on holiday I received some devastating news that 71 ewes had been stolen with the majority having twin lambs at foot.
“They went missing a week ago from Sandon, Staffordshire. They are mainly young mules and mule cross texel sheep. Some lambs have been left behind without their mothers.
“All of our ewes and lambs are earmarked with specific notches in both ears. They also have a red mark on their hip. All lambs have a single yellow tag however our ewes have a mix of our own tags and bought-in tags.
“This is the second time this year that sheep have been stolen.
“I’m hoping that the power of Facebook will give us some information. Please, please share this post as these sheep could be anywhere by now, if anyone hears anything please let us know.”
Her father, farm owner Richard Sidebottom, told Farmers Weekly he was “absolutely gutted”.
Mr Sidebottom offered a reward of £5,000 for the successful prosecution of the person or people responsible for the theft.
He said: “I’m totally brassed off. I spent all this time at lambing working all the hours that you can physically work and then someone just comes in your field and takes your sheep.
“We don’t know if they have all gone straight for killing or if they are still out there in another field.
“It has sickened a lot of people beyond the family.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Ms Sidebottom on 07534 964 911.