Farmers & Mercantile recently contributed an article to Shropshire’s The Farmer regarding the incidence of sheep flock theft. The full text of the original article is shown below:
With the increase in sheep prices this year is theft of my flock something I should be worried about?
In the spring and recent months we have seen a rise in the theft of ewes and lambs amongst our clients throughout the west midlands, especially in Staffordshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire. Typically around forty, or a trailer full are being stolen at a time, with typical claims between four to six thousand pounds. Many are going to unlicensed abattoirs and entering the food chain illegally. This autumn saw one of Britain’s largest rustling incidents when 1500 sheep went missing in Lincolnshire.
These thefts are difficult to protect against, especially with stock grazed on common land or mountainside, but in a lot of cases simple security measures can help to deter thieves. Often gates are not locked or only give the appearance of having an effective chain and padlock. Two heavy duty British standard chains and padlocks with anti cutting protection on both the latch and hinge side of the gate, can make it either impossible or more difficult for thieves, whilst increasing their chances of being caught in the act.
The balance between security and ease of access to your fields is not an easy one to get right but with the value of many flocks set to rise now until the end of May with new arrivals and fattening stock, sheep are a commodity that need greater protection.
If the worst happens your insurer can cover you against your loss but be aware that Theft cover is an optional peril on your flock insurance that many people wrongly assume that they have automatic cover for. We recommend reviewing your insurances regularly to prevent such gaps in cover. For more information on how to insure your sheep, or for an insurance review, ring Farmers & Mercantile Insurance Brokers on 01584 873 040.