Farmers have been warned to be extra vigilant after sheep were reported stolen from two separate farms in east Co. Donegal recently.

The sheep are believed to have been taken from farms in the Raphoe area of the county sometime last weekend, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Donegal County Chairman Michael Chance.

Luckily, in one incident the sheep were returned to the farmer, Chance told AgriLand.

Chance urged farmers, not only in Co. Donegal but across the country, to be extra vigilant when they are herding their animals. He also reminded farmers to take extra care around their sheds or yards and not to leave themselves vulnerable to a farm robbery.

We sent out a text today to our members asking them to take extra care, following reports of two thefts of sheep in the past few days.

“Farmers are very busy at the moment, whether they are out making silage or doing other jobs. They might tend to skip a day, where they do not fully count and check on their animals,” he added.

However, Chance warned farmers not to become complacent during this busy period.

‘Two thirds of farmers are now victims of crime’

Earlier this year, research carried out by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) revealed that two thirds of Irish farming families have been affected by crime relating to their farming enterprise.

The results of the agricultural crime survey were startling, the ICSA’s National President, Patrick Kent, said at the time the final figures from the survey were revealed.

The results of the survey reveal that the issue of agricultural crime is a far bigger issue than official Garda statistics would suggest.

“They would also suggest that the courts have adopted a far too lenient approach to offenders, particularly to repeat offenders.

“The rural community believes that the judicial system provides virtually no deterrent to this type of crime,” he said.