NFUS is urging farmers and crofters to report any incident of livestock theft following a sucessful charging of sheep rustling in Highlands.
A man has been arrested and charged following the theft of 12 pedigree Suffolk sheep in the Highlands.
The sheep, valued at about £11,000 were taken from the Bilibster area of Caithness at the beginning of July.
A 22-year-old man was arrested and charged last week (July 14) and a report has now been sent to the procurator fiscal.
NFU Scotland (NFUS) and Police Scotland are urging farmers and crofters to check their stock regularly and report any thefts as soon as possible to the police.
Jim Whiteford, NFUS’ regional board chairman for the Highlands said last week’s arrest is a ’positive step in stamping down on livestock thefts across the country’.
He said: "The swiftness of this arrest should send a message to thieves that this will not be tolerated.
"We know farmers and crofters are busy, particularly at this time of year, but we would urge them to check their stock regularly and report any thefts or suspicious activity to Police Scotland as soon as is practically possible.
"Thankfully in this case the sheep have been returned to the owner, and it is through the quick reporting and good work at a local level by all the parties involved that has had this good result."
Police Scotland’s specialist crime division said the farming community should be assured that ’our efforts to tackle this form of criminality will not stop’.
PC Willie Johnstone said: "This incident demonstrates that Police Scotland and partner agencies will exhaust all lines of enquiry to track down those who commit crime in the rural environment, and highlights the important part the public play in informing us of suspicious activity.
"Reporting as soon as possible is vital to allow us to maximize our opportunities to detect these types of crimes.
"We fully understand the emotional and financial significance a crime of this nature has on the farming community.
"Members of the public are thanked for their support in sharing our appeal and providing information."