A GWENT farmer is warning farmers to be vigilant after 21 of his sheep were stolen.

Guy Parry, who farms Gweniniog Farm at Llangwm, near Usk, with his wife Kathleen, issued the warning after 21 Lleyn Cross Welsh Mountain yearlings were taken from his farm.

Mr Parry said: “They had been specifically bred for flock replacements and their loss has had a significant impact on the planned increase in our breeding flock.

“It is obviously a person with local knowledge and an understanding of farming methods has carried out this theft as the animals were taken from a field which is away from the main road and there were no signs of how the sheep had been taken,”

he added.

Farmers’ Union of Wales Gwent county executive officer Glyn Davies said: “The theft of these animals is just the latest incident in what has been an alarming rise in rural crimes throughout the county which has been causing the farming community considerable stress as well as having a severe financial impact upon them.”

Mr Parry said he has reported the matter to police under the Farm Watch scheme.

He said all farmers should enrol in the police-run scheme and the OWL system, under which any reports of suspicious vehicles or people can be reported and forwarded to other members of Farm Watch.