POLICE now say the number of sheep stolen from a farm at Stenigot, near Louth is actually more than 1,400.
Last week the Leader reported that more than 350 lambs and adult sheep were stolen, but now Lincolnshire Police say 579 ewes and 901 lambs were taken in the robbery which happened between 6pm on Saturday, September 10 and the following morning.
And there are now fears that the stolen sheep will be taken to unlicensed abbatoirs to be sold as meat on markets and from the back of vehicles. Police are warning people to be wary of such traders selling the meat and are urging them to steer clear.
It is believed the loss to the farmer could be around £100,000, but the re-sale value of the meat could be considerably more than that.
DC Nick Jones, from Louth CID, said: “This is clearly a very organised crime that would have involved a number of people and the use of two three-tier articulated transporters.
“One line of enquiry is that the sheep may have been stolen to be processed through unlicensed abbatoirs and the meat sold via non-legitimate outlets.
“Clearly, there are health implications should this be the case and all efforts are being made to trace the sheep as quickly as possible.”
l Anyone with any information about the incident or who saw large livestock transporters in the area at the time should contact PC Crombie at Louth Police Station on 0300 111 0300 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.