Police have issued an appeal following the theft of 44 lambs.

The lambs were stolen from a field close to the Sun Inn, Dorchester, between 11am on Wednesday, November 25 and 7.50am on Friday, November 27.

The lambs are a mix of Suffolk and Charollais and have no ear numbers. They are all shorn with red markings and are approximately six months old.

PC Sebastian Haggett, of Dorset Rural Crime Team, said: “We would urge members of the public with any information to get in contact with us. Livestock theft is a serious issue and the public are our eyes and ears in the countryside.

"No matter how small you think your information is, it could be what we need to solve this case. Please get in touch."

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Reg Bevan, deputy head of the Food Standard Agency’s National Food Crime Unit, said “Meat from illegally slaughtered animals isn’t safe to eat and should not enter the food chain. We are continuing to work with the police to prevent this from happening.

"If you’ve purchased or been offered meat which you suspect has been produced illegally, do not eat it and report it to Dorset Police and the NCFU."

Police are encouraging residents local to the area to check any CCTV and likewise anyone with vehicles with dash cam to review their footage.

If you have any information please contact police quoting reference: 55200178929. Alternatively, phone 101 or email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk.