Upper Bann DUP MLA Sydney Anderson, a member of the Stormont Agriculture and Rural Development, has condemned those responsible for stealing over 30 sheep and an Ifor Williams trailer from a location at Scarva Road, Gilford.
Mr Anderson, pictured, said the incident took place at the weekend.
He added: “Twenty six ewes, eight lambs and a ram were stolen from a shed along with an Ifor Williams 8x5 trailer. I want to take this opportunity to urge anyone that may have information that will assist the PSNI with their enquiries in relation to the theft to contact the police on the non-emergency 101 phone number. I would hope that those despicable thieves responsible for this criminal activity would soon be arrested, brought before the courts and given appropriate punishment for their actions.
“For many years we have witnessed our rural communities being negatively impacted by the scourge of rural crime. Our farming communities are working hard to make a living and provide vital resources for the Northern Ireland economy, but they have been greatly hindered by the disgraceful actions of thugs who carry out rural crime. At the present time the agricultural industry is facing many problems and do not need the added burden of those who would seek to make life more difficult.”
Mr Anderson said it is vital that the PSNI, the new Policing and Community Safety Partnerships, local political representatives, other relevant bodies and the community at large work together to tackle head on the problem of rural crime.
He added: “A committed resolve is urgently needed to reduce the amount of such crime that is taking place. I have raised this issue on many occasions with the PSNI and I will be seeking a meeting as soon as possible to see what further measures and actions can be taken to help deal with this serious matter.”