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Thieves on the lamb

Lambs, ducks, goats, even pigeons, have been seized in a spate of B.C. robberies


 

A gang of animal thieves appears to be on the loose around Langley and Abbotsford, B.C., where farmers have reported a spate of barn break-ins. Suspects have made off with lambs, ducks, goats—even pigeons. “I’ve been doing this job 2½ years,” says Cpl. Holly Marks of the Langley RCMP, “and it’s only in the last six months” that it’s become a real problem. In neighbouring Abbotsford, the police department now has an officer assigned to investigating livestock theft, a position that wasn’t staffed in 2010, according to Const. Ian MacDonald.

The most recent incident took place in Langley on March 23, when two separate break-ins were reported: one farmer lost 17 lambs, and another lost five. (One lamb apparently escaped the robbers, and was found in a neighbour’s yard.) On Feb. 28, six ducks, 65 chickens and some feed were stolen from a different farm, which was also targeted in late December when 17 ducks went missing. Abbotsford saw four goat thefts in February and March, with a total of 17 animals stolen, MacDonald says. Most bizarrely, in February, up to 4,000 pigeons were taken from three different farms. “That was a real head-scratcher for me,” MacDonald says: at about $7 per pigeon, “the value per pigeon is much lower than goat.” The vast majority of the stolen goats were female, and could fetch “several thousand dollars” through breeding, he says.

No charges have been laid, but police have some leads, especially in the “pigeon scenario,” MacDonald says, where there was an eyewitness. As for the missing lambs, one of the animals was a rare, rusty red colour, “very distinguished,” Marks says, which could help to identify them if they appear at auction. Langley locals wonder if stolen lambs might end up on unwitting buyers’ dinner tables at Easter.


 

Thieves on the lamb

  1. I've been following this story and will be very interested just who the thieves are and how they will be prosecuted. Sheep rustling is on the rise in the UK but this farmer came up with a great idea.

    Farmer paints sheep orange to prevent rustling
    A farmer painted his entire flock of sheep orange to discourage thieves, after rise in rustling.

    Mr Heard, who runs his livestock farm near Okehampton, Devon had lost 200 sheep over the past few years but says the orange dye is working wonders.

    He explained:"Sheep rustling has become a big problem with ewes worth around £140 each. My flock roams Dartmoor and I was getting mighty fed-up with losing so many.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howabo

  2. I've been following this story and will be very interested just who the thieves are and how they will be prosecuted. Sheep rustling is on the rise in the UK but this farmer came up with a great idea.

    Farmer paints sheep orange to prevent rustling
    A farmer painted his entire flock of sheep orange to discourage thieves, after rise in rustling.

    Mr Heard, who runs his livestock farm near Okehampton, Devon had lost 200 sheep over the past few years but says the orange dye is working wonders.

    He explained:"Sheep rustling has become a big problem with ewes worth around £140 each. My flock roams Dartmoor and I was getting mighty fed-up with losing so many.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howabo

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