SOPHISTICATED thieves have stolen more than 100 pregnant ewes from a Roseland farm.
The sheep from Fentongollan Farm had been put out for the winter across farms in the local area.
In total 1,700 ewes had been put out last November but on their return this February for lambing it was discovered that more than 100 had gone missing.
Jeremy Hosking from the farm explained: “They went out to dairy farms in about November and they were all electronically tagged and all scanned before they went out.
“There were then pregnancy scans just before Christmas and all the right numbers were there then.
“They came back to the farm in mid February for the lambing season and that is when we noticed something was wrong.
“We were halfway through lambing when we noticed and at first I thought there must have been a mistake and that they had to be there somewhere.
“However we checked and found 102 were missing.
“I have to say we suspected that this might have happened before but were not able to prove it.”
Mr Hosking said that the method used to take the ewes had been “sophisticated” as the offenders have taken 20 from different groups making it difficult to notice at first.
He said: “It has been cleverly done. It must have been done at night and they must have had dogs to help and by doing it this way it is not noticed immediately.”
Mr Hosking added that those responsible must have known the farm and where it sends its ewes and the system it uses which he said was “worrying”.
He also said that as the ewes had been taken in groups of 20 it was likely that an Ivor Williams trailer was used as that is the perfect size for such a group.
The livestock has been valued at more than £11,000.
But Mr Hosking said the ewes had greater value to the farm as they are part of a large breeding programme of Aberdale hybrid sheep which the farm has been running over the last three years.
He added: “It is really galling that a number of them have gone.
“You have losses in farming but theft leaves a real bitter taste.”
Anyone with information about the theft should contact PC Neil Duckworth at Tregony Police Station using the 101 number and quoting crime reference CR/76393/14.