Sheep stolen from Stenigot 'for illegal abattoirs'

Police believe almost 1,500 sheep stolen in Lincolnshire may have been taken to unlicensed abattoirs.

The sheep were taken from a 40-acre field in Stenigot, near Louth, between 18:00 BST on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Det Con Nick Jones said the theft would have involved several people and two livestock transporters.

There were 579 ewes and 901 lambs in the field, estimated to be worth £100,000, when the theft took place.

Police believe the meat has now been passed to illegal outlets.

"Clearly, there are health implications should this be the case, and all efforts are being made to trace the sheep as quickly as possible," said Det Con Jones.

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Media captionDet Con Nick Jones spoke about the theft of almost 1,500 sheep.

"The farmer is devastated. He has had 579 ewes stolen. This is not just going to affect him this year but next year as well."

Livestock theft on this scale is unusual for Lincolnshire but 33,000 sheep have been stolen in England between January and August this year, police said.

Anyone who saw suspicious activity or large livestock transporters in the area has been asked to contact police.

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