Gardai ask for help over big rise in sheep rustling
Gardai in Co Wicklow have appealed to the public for help in tracking down sheep rustlers who have been on a thieving spree for the past few months.
Ewes and lambs have been stolen in batches of up to 40 at a time, although in some cases just two or three ewes have been taken.
Despite a number of arrests, sheep theft is still occurring in the county, particularly in hill areas where sheep are not handled on a regular basis.
Garda Mark Doran, from Baltinglass station, confirmed that dozens of sheep had been reported stolen.
A farmer from Dunlavin had 40 ewe lambs worth €6,000 stolen from a field next to his yard on September 16.
The ewe lambs had two ear notches but were not tagged. A second batch of ewes and hoggets belonging to the same farmer, which were grazing in the adjacent field, were not disturbed during the incident.
Other sheep thefts reported to gardai in Baltinglass include 27 factory lambs worth €2,700 taken from the Donard area in late July. The lambs were marked out for sale by the farmer using a red-paint mark on the shoulder but were untagged.