Livestock rustlers have struck in Monmouthshire and stolen a flock of 47 lambs.
The animals were taken from a farm in Llandenny sometime between Tuesday 3 March and Wednesday 4 March.
The thieves cut open the farm gates and rounded up the lambs, according to Gwent Police’s rural crime team.
Officers believe the animals were removed from the farm in a lorry.
It is the second large-scale livestock rustling incident to have happened in the county over the past few weeks.
In February, 140 lambs were stolen from farmland in Rogiet Moors, near Caldicot.
But most were later recovered in a field near the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge.
Anyone who may have witnessed the latest incident, or who has information about either theft, is asked to contact Gwent Police on 101, quoting reference number 200080648.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
According to rural insurer NFU Mutual, livestock worth more than £3m was stolen from UK farms in 2019.
Top tips to prevent livestock rustling
Preventing rustling is not as easy as putting a padlock on a building or fitting a security system to a tractor.
However, there are a number of steps farmers can take to reduce the risk, and technology is now providing effective ways of tracing stolen livestock.
To deter livestock thieves, NFU Mutual advises farmers to:
- Ensure stock is clearly marked and records are up to date
- When possible, graze livestock in fields away from roads
- Check stock regularly and vary times of feeding/check-ups
- Consider a high-tech marking system such as TecTracer, which puts thousands of coded microdot markers into a sheep’s fleece
- Join a Farm or Rural Watch scheme to share information about rural crime in your area
- Ask neighbours to report any suspicious sightings to the police, or to give information 100% anonymously to the Rural Crime Hotline on 0800 783 0137, www.ruralcrimehotline.co.uk
- Dial 999 immediately if an incident is taking place – do not approach criminals.