500 pigs stolen from Stafford farm

An award-winning livestock farmer is pleading for vigilance after more than 500 pigs were stolen from his family farm in Staffordshire.

Alec Mercer, who farms with his brother Robert and father Roger at Packington Fields Farm near Tamworth, said the wieners, worth £25,000 were stolen early last Friday morning (27 March).

It is believed thieves broke through a steel barrier and a barbed-wire fence before emptying 14 kennels of five-week-old pigs into a waiting articulated lorry.

“Neighbours thought they heard something and went they went to look saw a lorry pulling out,” said Mr Mercer, who was named Farmers Weekly’s 2008 Diversification Farmer of the Year.

He said he believed the animals had been stolen by another farmer, as they needed at least another three months of fattening before they could be processed.

“They need to be invested in and need food and bedding for months yet.

“No one is going to gain today from taking them, which makes me think they have been taken by someone with the facilities to keep them.”

Mr Mercer urged people to look for signs of a local farm suddenly having a lot of extra pigs and also asked farmers to be vigilant of people offering to sell wieners to them.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Richard Allsop at Lichfield Police Station, telephone 0300 123 4455 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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