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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘This is a callous, inhumane and criminal act’

5 in-lamb ewes stolen 

A farm in the UK has appealed for information after thieves stole five in-lamb ewes.

The incident – which occurred at Forge Mill Farm on the night of Sunday, October 24th – is one of a spate of recent sheep rusting incidents in Sandwell Valley.

According to the farm, the ewes most likely were carrying twin lambs.

Farmers and staff are concerned for the remaining sheep’s welfare.

They fear that they may have lost or will lose their lambs due to the stress of the incident.

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In-lamb ewes stolen 

In January 2020, during the height of lockdown, these sheep were the stars of the live with the lambs series.

Forge Mill Farm is undertaking measures to protect the remaining flock. It is fitting extra security cameras and has hired extra security.

The farm is considering new technologies to track and trace any animals that go missing.

These include GPS and special livestock marking paint mixed with microdots, only visible under a microscope, which they can use to identify anyone involved.

Catch those involved 

Alex Dunn, Farm Manager at Forge Mill farm, said:

“This is a devastating loss to the farm and the people of Sandwell; after all, these are their sheep.”

“We are here to serve the public and to provide experiences and educate about food and farming.”

“It is heart-breaking to think that some of the same people we serve might also be responsible for stealing and slaughtering these sheep in such an inhumane manner.”

“Please help us catch those involved so we can continue to keep sheep at Sandwell Valley for everybody to enjoy.”

According to the farm, the animals in question are not fit for human consumption.

They said they are “likely to have been slaughtered in an inhumane way”.

“Don’t buy meat except from a reputable supplier,” the farm said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Sandwell Council said:

“This devastating loss will mean the farm will have 10-20% fewer lambs this year for visitors to enjoy.”

“The police are investigating the incident and a separate but related incident in Smethwick, which took place over the weekend.”

“Any members of the public with any information should call 101 and quote the crime number 20/183 0794/21.”

Callous, inhumane and criminal

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism councillor, Danny Millard, said:

“This is a callous, inhumane and criminal act. Having a farm that is accessible to all our residents provides a real benefit to all parts of our community.”

“This kind of selfish behaviour will not be tolerated. I urge anyone that has information to contact the police,” Millard concluded.

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