By Sarah Beard 18/04 Updated: 18/04 17:37
FARMERS have formed a rural watch group after several sheep were stolen and killed by poachers.
The incidents began a month ago and have seen the discovery of three lots of lambs with their legs tied-up and left next to gates, ready to be collected by a vehicle. Four sheep with bite wounds and cut throats have also been found dead.
And one night, a farmer even spotted a gang of five poachers with torches, near sheep, but when he approached them in a jeep, they ran off into the dark.
The sheep kept in the countryside around Broome, Clent, Chaddesley Corbett, Belbroughton and Blakedown are being targeted and last Wednesday (April 11), police called a meeting with farmers and formed the watch group with them and landowners.
Broome landowner, Ernest Lane, was made chairman of the watch, which includes eight farmers and landowners.
He is aiming to ensure all incidents are reported to the police and the information is cascaded.
PC Andy Wallace, who arranged the meeting, said: "The farmers are convinced this is the work of poachers who say they use the sheep to give their young terriers a taste of blood and to feed them.
"This is done to prepare the animals for illegal poaching or possibly even dog fighting."
The farmers also claimed a technique called, lamping, was being used. That involves the hunting of nocturnal wildlife using high-powered lights.
PC Wallace called on the public to help the police catch the culprits and urged those living in the area to remain vigilant and call the force as soon as possible with details of any suspicious people or vehicles in the area'.
He added: "Without putting yourself at risk, please try and obtain vehicle details including colour, make, model, registration number and a description of the occupants if possible."
Anyone with any information should call West Mercia Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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