Warning to farmers after thefts

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Police are warning farmers to be vigilant after a rise in the number of sheep thefts.

Since mid-September, 228 lambs and sheep have been reported stolen from farms near Settle, Skipton, Kirkbymoorside, Fewston near Harrogate and Thornton Le Clay, York.

The breeds which have been taken include Continental, Texel, Suffolk, Swaledale and Lonk sheep, as well as pedigree Beltex ewes.

Farmers can take a few simple steps to help prevent themselves becoming the victims of this type of crime by making regular checks on stock kept in fields; making sure that hedgerows and gates are in good repair; and fitting capping hinges to gates so that they cannot be lifted off and securing gates.