Shropshire

Thieves steal 1,000 ducklings from Shropshire farm

A thousand ducklings have been stolen from a Shropshire farm suppliers.

The day-old birds, valued at about £3,000, were stolen from Cheshire Game Supplies, on Sandford Industrial Park, in Whitchurch over the weekend.

Police believe the thieves gained access via a field on nearby Calverhall Road.

Andrew Grocott, owner of Cheshire Game Supplies, believes the culprits used specialist equipment to carry out the theft.

"I've no idea why it has been done," he said.

"We have had minor thefts before, but nothing on this scale.

'Unusual theft'

"Selling ducklings plays a huge part in providing our income and paying staff, and it is going to be hard work to make up for that financial loss.

"The thieves clearly must have had specialist equipment with them, such as a heating source, and crept in between security patrols."

A spokesperson for West Mercia Police said: "We are appealing to anyone who spotted suspicious activity in the area between Friday night and Saturday morning (29 June) to contact Whitchurch Police.

"This is an unusual theft involving a large quantity of birds. We would also urge people to make contact if they are offered day-old ducklings for sale in dubious circumstances."

National Farmer's Union (NFU) county advisor Jeremy Lowe said the theft is the first incident of its kind in the area and urged other farmers and poultry owners to step up security.

"It doesn't appear to be a spate of thefts from farms and farm suppliers, but I would urge them to take extra security measures on their premises.

"I would also urge them to join up with a local Rural Watch Scheme, which is set up to help combat rural crimes such as this."

Information can also be given to Crimestoppers anonymously.

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