Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Flock of sheep seized by police

Police received more than 40 reports of concern from members of the public after a flock of sheep were left to roam free

Police have seized a flock of sheep after the owners continually let them roam free.

A shepherd and two sheepdogs were called in by police to help round up the sheep and transport them to a location outside of Gloucestershire.

The seven sheep are set to be sold on after the owners refused to hand over money to cover the cost of impounding the animals. All fees incurred by police will now be paid from the money made at auction.

The move comes after more than 40 reports of concern from members of the public since the start of the year in the Clifford's Mesne and May Hill areas of Newent.

Pc Brian Howard said: "The problem of horses and sheep roaming free in the area has been on our radar for a while, with local residents reporting animals causing an obstruction on the road and trashing gardens, fences and other property in the process. As police we have a responsibility to move the animals on to the nearest piece of land and try to identify the owners.

"Unfortunately despite our best efforts no one has ever acknowledged ownership of the horses but in the case of the sheep we know they have a market value and can be sold to recoup costs if necessary, so we took this action.

"Unsurprisingly the owners did come forward this time but are not willing to pay the costs. Therefore they will pay the consequences and in the process the community will be afforded some relief.

"We will continue to work to resolve any further issues in the area and would make a plea to all owners to do the right thing and accept responsibility for their animals. The community has suffered a great deal so far because of this and we will do everything we can to make sure the situation improves."

Inspector Richard Boyles described the animals as "nuisance sheep" and said police had received numerous complaints from members of the public.

He said: "The two main gripes are the sheep being a danger to road users, and secondly they were getting in to gardens and eating people's flowers. The sheep were causing a nuisance but ultimately it was the responsibility of their owners to look after them - something they didn't do. After a long period of consultation with the owners to get them to change their ways, we took the action we needed to."

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