A couple have been left devastated after the theft of three of their sheep, including their much-loved pet ram, George.
Ian Clark and Bev Ross, who only have a small flock spread across two sites locally as a hobby, had been keeping the males and a few young females in a field off Westfield Road near the A15 at Leasingham when they discovered on Friday morning that three had been taken overnight.
Bev said: “Devastated doesn’t come close. I will never understand stealing from others.”
She says there is no sign of a break-in and so they fear the three sheep may have been subdued or killed in the field and then lifted over the electric fence. Police believe they may have been stolen to order or maybe for the illegal meat market as they are tagged but will be without appropriate paperwork for an official abattoir.
This is one of the couple’s greatest fears, that having raised them to high ethical wellbeing standards that their lives may have ended in an inhumane way.
Bev said: “We just enjoy raising the sheep and looking after them really well to make sure they have a good life, so this is really personal.”
There were nine other sheep in the rented field but the thieves only took the largest of their spring lambs, Toby their five-year-old ram and little George.
She said: “George was one of our first lambs when we started four years ago. He was bottle-fed but never put much weight on. The vet suggested putting him to sleep but we decided to let him potter around the field and our granddaughter likes to handle him. He is like a dog and runs to you for fuss.”
He also acts as a companion for Toby, when he has to be separated from the flock. Bev insisted the sheep could not have escaped as they are very wary of the electric fence.
They have publicised it wherever they could and have decided not to rear any more lambs this season after the upset.
She said: “We have looked everywhere. Two months ago we had the battery and energiser from our electric fence stolen.
“Toby would not have gone without a huge struggle so I am worried what state he is in. Losing George has really got to us. He is of little meat value and is castrated.
“Now we are worried about the other nine sheep and are going down and checking a lot. Everyone is up in arms about it.”
A livestock trailer is also reported to have been stolen from Burton Pedwardine around the same time.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting incident 297 of October 12.
The flock number for George is UK22039 and for Toby, who is a Kerry Hill pedigree, is UK 150054-0010. It may be the tags will have been removed.