Officers are appealing for the public’s help after six sheep have gone missing from a field near Bridport.
Initially, 11 sheep were discovered missing from the field in Uploders on Thursday 6 April 2017 but five were found by a resident in the nearby Shipton Gorge area later that day.
Despite extensive searches and assistance from the farming community, the owners have not located the outstanding six.
Four of the missing sheep are Jacobs and are described as various shades of brown with some white. Two are white Polled Dorsets.
The sheep are all aged between 12 and 20 months old and are mainly ewes.
Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, of Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team, said: “We are investigating the possibility the sheep have been stolen and ear tags removed or replaced.
“We have received reports that sheep hurdles have been stolen on three occasions in the Beaminster area and sometimes this can occur prior to a livestock theft.
“We take the theft of livestock very seriously. It has a substantial impact on farmers and causes them constant worry that they will be targeted again.
“The animals themselves can be transported and kept in very poor conditions with no regard for their welfare. These animals can then enter the food chain without any regards for the strict controls that protect the public from contaminated meat.
“This sort of crime therefore has wider safety implications to us all. I would ask anyone with any information about livestock theft or the illegal meat trade to contact Dorset Police.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email email@example.com or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55170052899. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestopeers-uk.org