Police investigating the theft of 13 pregnant ewes in Claudy are appealing for information. 

It's been reported that sometime between 10am last Wednesday (7th February) and 10.30am on Thursday (8th February), 13 Suffolk/Texel-cross ewes expecting lambs were taken from a field at the junction of Kilcreen road and Altinure Road. The ewes all had red markings on their left side. 

Sergeant Johnston of Sperrin Neighbourhood Policing Team in Strabane said: "The removal of these ewes would have required planning and the use of a vehicle, for example a trailer, to transport the animals away from the area. I'm appealing to anyone who recalls seeing any unfamiliar vehicles in the area, between last Wednesday morning and 10:30am the next day, to call us. 

"The theft of these ewes will be of a significant loss to the farmer. Not only is there the value of the ewes and the lambs, but there is also the cost involved in rearing and farming the animals. We're urging anyone with information about the animals' whereabouts, or who took them, to get in touch. It may be a detail that you think is insignificant, but it could make a difference."

The number to call with information is 101, quoting reference  1564 of 09/02/24, or make a report online via www.psni.police.uk/report Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Sergeant Johnston continued: "Last month we received a report of 50 Texel and Suffolk-bred ewe lambs, with orange markings, taken from a field on Teenaght Road in Claudy sometime between 7pm on Thursday, 25th January and 7am on Friday 26th January. Enquiries are ongoing in relation to this, including to establish if this is linked with the theft on Kilcreen Road.

"In the meantime, to work to prevent these type of thefts, there are a number of steps farmers can take to reduce the risk including padlock field gates, ensure stock is clearly marked and records are up to date, check stock regularly, vary times of feeding/check-ups and ask neighbours to report any sightings of unusual vehicles loading sheep.

"The tighter your farm security, the more difficult it will be for thieves to steal your livestock, or equipment."