South West Wales

Sheep rustling warning after Brynamman flock targeted

A farming union is warning rural dwellers to remain vigilant after 150 sheep were rustled in Carmarthenshire.

Hugh Davies, 67, and wife Mary, 61, noticed the sheep were missing from their 1,000-head flock on the Black Mountain at Brynamman.

FUW president Emyr Jones urged people to use camera phone technology to help the police catch the thieves.

A £5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the recovery of the sheep or a conviction.

"We are now keen to highlight this problem that is causing havoc among sheep farmers," said Mr Davies, who spotted the theft when he and his wife collected their flock from the mountain at the end of October.

"To get the sheep off the mountain you need very good dogs and I suspect that someone who knows what they are doing is watching me closely. "

Mr Davies added: "We usually lose about 30-40 sheep a year and some of our neighbours have also lost some stock this year but nothing to this extent has ever happened to us before."

Mr Jones said sheep rustling was a huge problem for Welsh farmers.

'Rural crime'

"The FUW is urging everyone to be vigilant for any suspicious activity in the countryside and to use the latest camera phone technology in a bid to help the police catch the thieves," he said.

Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed they were investigating the theft in the Upper Brynamman and Gwynfe area between the end of May and October 25.

"Prevention of rural crime such as this can be tackled but it needs the farmers, police and the wider rural communities to work together to combat it," said Sgt Matthew Howells, who represents the police on rural issues.

He explained that sheep were being targeted because of the high prices they are currently fetching.

"If we can work with the farming community in setting up Farm Watch schemes as recently showcased in North Ceredigion then we will hopefully be on the right track to reduce rural crime," he said.

"I would be very interested in helping the community affected here to set up a Farm Watch scheme along with the local Neighbourhood Policing Team."

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