Investigation into death of three sheep at a Northumberland farm points to poachers

Police officers are investigating the deaths of three sheep – with initial inquiries leading to suspected poachers.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 1:59 pm
Updated Friday, 18th October 2019, 3:21 pm
File picture: An investigation into the deaths of three sheep is ongoing.

The animals suffered injuries which were so severe that two sheep died at the scene and one had to be put down by a vet.

Officers are now investigating the deaths of the three sheep at a farm near Matfen.

Early inquiries lead to suspected poachers and now officers are issuing advice around how the public can help police stop poaching and bring any offenders before a court.

Wildlife Officer Lee Davison, of Northumbria Police said: “It is really important to call the police if you see anything suspicious. This information not only assists the attending officer so they know what they are looking for but it also helps us gather evidence and progress investigations.”

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Here's what to look out for:

The most obvious sign is a group of vehicles parked in a rural area - by a gateway to farmland, on a grass verge, farm track or bridle path.

When reporting the incident/sighting to police give descriptions of suspects, including how many and any accents.

Make a note of what they are wearing and if they have any dogs with them?

Vehicle information is also useful including direction of travel, registrations as well as the make and model.

If you find anything that may be evidence, such as tyre marks, foot prints or blood, then take a photo and try to preserve it by covering it with a plastic bag or sheet until officers arrive.

Officer Davison added: “All of this helps us to respond effectively and efficiently to incidents and gives officers the best chance of identifying suspects and making arrests.”

Anyone who sees anything suspicious or has any information about illegal poaching is asked to contact police via 101.

The What3Words app can be used to narrow down locations and help officers locate the incident quicker.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is also asked to contact officers and quote reference number 657 09/10/19.