Hereford cow with newborn calf, suckling, standing in pasture,© FLPA / Wayne Hutchinson/REX/Shutterstock

A beef farmer has issued a plea to thieves who stole cattle worth £16,000 from off-lying grazing land in Carmarthenshire.

Teifion Williams discovered 15 of his animals were missing from a roadside field two miles from his home at Bronallt Farm, Llangadog, on Thursday afternoon (29 September).

The gate had been removed from its hinges and there was evidence that a vehicle had been driven into the field.

See also: NZ police investigate theft of 500 cows from one farm

The cattle – a mix of Belgian Blue, Hereford and Limousin cows, in-calf heifers and a calf – represented one-third of the herd Mr Williams runs with his wife, Elizabeth.

He told Farmers Weekly he was still in a state of shock. “It is a huge blow and we are desperate to get these cattle back.

“We have the passports for these cattle, so without these they are no good to whoever has the animals, so I would appeal to them to give them back or let somebody know where they are.’’

Mr Williams had checked the animals on Wednesday (28 September) at 4pm and found they were missing the following afternoon.

Half of the animals was home-bred and the remainder had been bought in.

The Williams family has reported the theft to police and also contacted local vets and abattoirs requesting they get in touch if they see any suspicious activity. “It’s a waiting game,’’ admitted Mr Williams.

Warning

In the meantime, the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) is warning other farmers to be vigilant.

“As the days get shorter at this time of year, some may fancy their chances and steal livestock and farm machinery, which has devastating consequences for farm businesses and is extremely stressful for families,’’ said David Waters, FUW county officer in Carmarthen.

He stressed that farmers should enrol in the Farm Watch scheme and Online Watch Link (OWL), which allows suspicious vehicles or persons to be reported and forwarded to other Farm Watch members.

Anyone who has information about the theft is asked to contact PC Gareth Thomas (PC711), giving case number AA0/0711/29/09/2016/01/C as a reference.