Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy


or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.


Dutch Police Hunt Sheep Mafia After Unprecedented Thefts

By AFP News    October 09, 2012 at 09:36AM / (0) comments

THE HAGUE - Dutch police are hot on the trail of a sheep-rustling ring responsible for the unprecedented theft of hundreds of ovines, with suspicions falling on a mutton Mafia with shepherding experience.

 

"We are busy with an intensive investigation after hundreds of sheep disappeared in the region in the last few weeks," Marie-Jose Verkade, police spokeswoman for the eastern Gelderland-Zuid region, told AFP.

In the latest incident, 41 ewes vanished last week from a field close to the German border, near the eastern city of Nijmegen.

Nico Verduin of the Dutch national agricultural organization (LTO) said that sheep thefts have risen to alarming levels in the eastern, southern and central Netherlands' farming areas, with over 500 animals going missing since April.

"We have had the theft of sheep before, but never in these numbers,"
Verduin said.

"It's not easy to steal hundreds of sheep at a time -- you have to know what you are doing to herd these animals into a truck to take them away."

"That's why we think that organised crime is behind this," he told AFP.

With mutton and lamb prices shooting up 15 percent over the last year, a single sheep now fetches an average 140 euros ($182) Verduin said, as less-and-less meat is being produced by traditional sheep-farming countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

Verduin said his organization believes the animals are either being illegally exported or slaughtered and sold in local butcheries.

In a glimmer of hope, Dutch police on September 29 recovered 309 missing sheep from fields and a barn northwest of Nijmegen, police spokeswoman Verkade said. But no arrests were made.

"We are very worried," said Verduin. "You don't want to know what it feels like to arrive at your fields and all your sheep have gone missing."

 

Image: Maurice Koop / via Flickr

Source: AFP

Comments  0

Leave Comment


  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»

ARCHIVES

PET STATS & QUOTES

PETMD POLL

What do you use to prevent ticks from feeding on your pet?

 
MORE FROM PETMD.COM