Raiders steal ewes in-lamb

A FARMER is concerned for the welfare of his heavily-pregnant sheep after they were stolen from fields in Bolam, near Belsay.

Thieves took 41 mule ewes between 1.30pm on Friday, March 30, and 1.30pm on Monday, April 2. They are all due to give birth in the next 10 days.

Police believe possibly more than one vehicle was used during the raid and they could have been parked in the area for some time over the weekend.

The fields are rented by Harewalls Farm in West Woodburn, west Northumberland, and owner Mark Bell keeps around 240 sheep on the land.

“It was a bit of a shocker to see them missing as I’ve had a few stolen in the past, but nothing as big as this,” he said. “It looks like it was an organised theft and I believe they will lamb the ewes first then sell them afterwards. I hope they are being looked after well because it’s a crucial time for them.

“Hopefully, someone saw something to help catch the thieves and if they are still in the region, there may be a chance of getting the sheep back. But it will be a lot more difficult if they have gone to another part of the country.

“If I can’t get them back I will need to replace them in the future because ewes are an important part of the business.”

Anyone who saw any suspicious vehicles or people in the area around the time of the theft is asked to contact police on 101, extension 69191.