Police investigation launched after 11 sheep stolen from field in Whitby

11 sheep were stolen from a field in Hutton Mulgrave, Whitby
-Credit: (Image: Pixabay)

An investigation has been launched after 11 sheep were stolen from a field.

The animals were snatched from grassland in Hutton Mulgrave, Whitby, between 7pm on Wednesday, May 15 and 5am on Friday, May 17. The sheep are described as Texel Cross hoggs with a mix of white and brown faces. They may have faded orange spray marks on their shoulders. They are tagged in both ears with their UK flock number.

Police officer Jack Donaldson, from North Yorkshire Police's Rural Task Force (RTF) said: "Livestock theft causes a significant financial loss to farmers, totalling £2.7m in 2022 according to NFU Mutual figures.

“The emotional and mental health impacts on farmers can be devastating. Farmers often raise their stock from the day they are born, and for them to disappear overnight into criminal hands causes great anxiety and stress, as animals are often mistreated by the criminals."

The Rural Task Force is working together with the National Rural Crime Unit who, this year, introduced PC Martin Beck as the national lead for tackling livestock theft. Operation Foldyard has been introduced to collate intelligence and disseminate data to forces across the UK to assist teams like the RTF catch those responsible.

Anyone with information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number 12240086792 Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555111.