Chichester rural crime: Chickens and bees stolen after nine-month-old calf is found dead in field
Two incidents involving the theft, and attempted theft, of chickens have been reported in the Chichester district.
In its latest country watch newsletter, Sussex Police said a chicken was stolen from a premises in Funtington on Friday, April 9 (0811).
Later that day, a group of children were seen stealing a chicken from a different premises in Funtington. Police said the youths, after being approached by the owner, dropped the chicken and ran away (crime reference: 1256).
Between Thursday (April 8) and Saturday, bees and hives were stolen from a farm in the Sidlesham area (0460). Eight-year-old bee-keeper, Poppy Liddle, thanked the community for 'making today better' and now more than £1,300 has been raised following the theft. Read more hereOn Saturday, a wheelbarrow and other tools were reported stolen from a farmyard in Easebourne (0852).
Sussex Police is also appealing for witnesses to come forward following an incident in the Southbourne area, where a horse suffered 'suspicious injuries' overnight on March 2 (0457).
Meanwhile, youths have been seen 'several times' in a barn in the Chichester area. Locals are said to be worried 'as it contains asbestos' (0967).
On April 1, a nine-month-old calf was found dead in a field in the Rogate area. Police said the owner of the calf heard dogs barking and the sound of humans. On investigation, the owner of the calf found it dead (0449).
These latest incidents come after a sheep owner in Fittleworth found the remains of two of his animals that had been cut up for meat on March 24 (0616).
“These incidents are not common fortunately, but they are shocking for the farmers concerned,” a spokesperson for the National Farmers Union (NFU) said.
“It would be upsetting for a farmer to discover his animals slaughtered in their pastures as they would not have been killed humanely.”
The NFU said the butchery and theft was ‘possibly the work’ of people with experience of work in a slaughterhouse or people from an agrarian background ‘where home kills were the norm’.
The spokesperson added: “We should warn people not to buy unlabelled meat being offered for sale cheaply as untraceable meat will be unsuitable for human consumption and will not have been prepared in accordance with regulations governing food entering the human food chain.”
If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any of these incidents, please contact Sussex Police online, email at [email protected] or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. You can also contact their dedicated rural crime reporting number 0800 783 0137.
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