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Police probe whether animal remains dumped in Essex village are linked to sheep theft near Hadleigh

PUBLISHED: 19:22 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:08 24 August 2018

Police are investigating whether the discovery of sheep remains in an Essex village are linked to the theft of sheep in Lindsey near Hadeligh  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police are investigating whether the discovery of sheep remains in an Essex village are linked to the theft of sheep in Lindsey near Hadeligh Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Police in Suffolk are investigating whether the discovery of a large quantity of sheep remains dumped in an Essex village are connected to the theft of more than 60 sheep near Hadleigh.

The gruesome discovery was made in Takeley near Braintree, where a large pile of fleeces and sheep organs were found dumped by the roadside.

It comes just a few weeks after more than 60 sheep were stolen from a field in Lindsey, near Hadleigh.

Essex Police have confirmed they have been made aware of the incident in Takeley, which was reported to officers on Wednesday, August 22.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said officers have been passed details of the incident and are now investigating whether the dumped sheep are linked to the theft in Suffolk.

Between Friday July 27 and Friday August 3, 27 ewes and 36 lambs were stolen from a field in Lindsey.

The ewes are described as being Scotch Mules while the lambs are Texel Charollais cross breeds.

Following the theft, a spokesman for the National Farmers Union (NFU) urged the public to be wary when buying meat from unusual sources.

He said: “Livestock thefts on this scale are still relatively rare in East Anglia but nationally they cost UK farmers £2.4million in 2017, according to rural insurer NFU Mutual.

“Stealing this number of sheep suggests the involvement of a gang who must have used large vehicles to move them and we would urge anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact the police.

“We would also urge the public to be wary of buying meat from unusual sources, such as from pub car parks or through friends.”

Uttlesford District Council was alerted to the incident and sent a team to remove the remains.

A spokesman said: “We were notified of a fly-tip of animal remains in the Takeley area.

“We understand the police have been notified and will investigate if appropriate, and our street services team are arranging for a crew to clear the roadside as soon as possible.”

Suffolk police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information that could assist officers in their investigation to get in touch. If you know something that could help, call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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