Sheep, lambs and calf stolen from Sandwell farm

Security at Sandwell Park Farm has been increased following the recent thefts of sheep and a calf.

Sandwell Council officers are also investigating the illegal dumping of potentially dangerous animal remains in one of the authority's car parks.

Last week staff at Sandwell Park farm noticed some small lambs had gone missing – which they originally put down to natural causes. But a few days later in the process of bringing in their large flock of sheep, four ewes and two lambs were found to be missing.

The team found evidence that this had been a deliberate act – with a path clearly have been made through undergrowth. It was reported to West Midlands Police, and the remaining sheep were returned to a field closer to the farmer and further from the highway.

Despite this, another lamb was taken the same night.

Meanwhile, on June 4, Sandwell’s environmental response team found some sheep remains dumped in a car park in Smethwick.

While there is currently no evidence to suggest that these came from the missing sheep from Sandwell Park farm, the farm manager is investigating if there is a link.

Later that week, a three-day-old calf was stolen from its mother, from a field that adjoins the actual building complex. The calf was returned the next evening. It was visibly dehydrated and hungry – but by the end of the day was back feeding and should make a full recovery from its ordeal.

A Sandwell Council spokesman said: “The farm staff spend most of their working life looking after these animals and form a special bond; to say they are devastated by these callous thefts would be an understatement.

“We are appealing for anyone who witnessed people acting suspiciously on Forge Lane, West Bromwich between the hours of 4pm and 8pm on Wednesday, 9 June or knows anything to call the police. The thieves would have needed to use a vehicle.

“The animals taken from Sandwell Park farm are not fit for human consumption. They have recently been treated to protect them from disease, and this treatment takes time to leave the animals’ system. Don’t buy meat except from a reputable shop – it could be a health risk, not a bargain.”

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