Police are hunting thieves who stole 143 sheep from farm on the border of Cheshire and North Wales.
John Lightfoot, who runs a flock of about 400 ewes on land in Pulford, Chester and Rossett, Wrexham, said the sheep had been taken some time between 9pm on Monday (January 28) and the following morning (January 29).
Mr Lightfoot, who farms in partnership with his father Roger, said: “We checked and fed the sheep at 9pm on Monday and the next morning they were gone.
“It looks like a professional job because three lots of sheep had all been mixed up. It looked like, whoever it was, had sorted them out and taken what they wanted.
“For 143 sheep to vanish is a massive loss.”
Stolen sheep included 80 store lambs, 40 in-lamb Welsh mule ewes which have purple spray marks on their heads and 23 Jacob sheep which have orange spray marks. The in-lamb ewes also have scanning marks on their shoulders.
“The Jacobs belong to the 15-year-old grandson of the farmer we rent the field from, Jack Sinnott. He is absolutely devastated,” said Mr Lightfoot, adding the sheep had recently been wormed and therefore were not fit for human consumption.
To the left of the stream is England & to the right is Wales near Pulford, Cheshire. Sometime between 2100 hrs on 28th & 1100 hrs on 29th. Offenders have taken 102 sheep on the @cheshirepolice side & 40 on the @NWPolice side. A mixture of Welsh X, Texal X, Jacobs & Badger Face. pic.twitter.com/gLZmyNI5GZ— RuralCrimeTeam™ (@NWPRuralCrime)
To the left of the stream is England & to the right is Wales near Pulford, Cheshire. Sometime between 2100 hrs on 28th & 1100 hrs on 29th. Offenders have taken 102 sheep on the @cheshirepolice side & 40 on the @NWPolice side. A mixture of Welsh X, Texal X, Jacobs & Badger Face. pic.twitter.com/gLZmyNI5GZ— RuralCrimeTeam™ (@NWPRuralCrime) January 31, 2019
“The gates had been left open and there are tyre tracks so you can see you where they were loaded up."
North Wales Police Rural Crime Team (RCT) spokesman said: “The sheep were taken to a gate reached by a single track road running alongside the A483 north bound.
“Did you see anything suspicious here or have any information? Contact North Wales Police 101 with reference X013174.
“The rural crime team is collating any information for both Cheshire Police and North Wales Police crimes.”