Belfast Telegraph

Over 30 cows worth thousands stolen from farms in Aughnacloy

More than 30 cows have been stolen from two farms in a village in Co Tyrone.

Police are appealing to the public for information about the thefts in Aughnacloy.

The value of the cows stolen is believed to be in the thousands.

Sinn Fein Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Colm Gildernew urged farmers to be vigilant in the wake of the thefts, saying it would have a "huge impact especially financially on the farmers",

"I would urge all farmers in the area to work with the PSNI in branding livestock and setting up a farm watch scheme, as a coordinated approach to this crime is needed."

In one of the incidents 22 cattle were stolen from sheds on Glassdrummond Road.

These were a mixture of breeds including Friesians, Charolais and Limousin which were taken between March 30 and April 2.

All tag numbers and details of the cows have been passed on from local officers to the Department of Agriculture's Enforcement Team.

In another incident which happened between 6pm on February 24 and 6pm on February 25, nine heifers were stolen from a shed at a farm in Aughnacloy, with a lock being cut to gain access.

The cows are estimated to be worth £5,500 by the owner.

In a statement on the PSNI Dungannon & South Tyrone, a police spokesperson said: "Both of these incidents are a major loss to both farmers' livelihoods, the cattle are of high value.

"We are keen to speak to anyone with any information, to help us track down suspects and we are keen to share this information in our rural areas.

"We have spoken to our Crime Prevention Officer who is advising farmers to check livestock often but avoid setting a pattern by varying times.

"Look for signs of suspicious activity - meal on the ground, footprints, tyre tracks. Consider the use of wildlife cameras on out farms and display appropriate signage."

Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to contact police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference numbers CC420 6/4/18 and CC944 26/2/18.

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