AFTER sheep were slaughtered and then stolen from a farm near Chudleigh, police have warned Devon’s rural communities to be vigilant.

While in Coronavirus restrictions Devon & Cornwall Police rural affairs team has advised all to ensure that the appropriate security is present and remain vigilant for suspicious activity.

A spokesperson said: ‘Please help us in our drive to support our rural communities and prevent rural crime by being our eyes and ears.

‘Unfortunately, we continue to see incidents of Livestock Worrying, a particular concern owing to lambing and a reminder to those using rights of way and access land to keep dogs on leads.

‘We are investigating reports of livestock theft involving poultry where 48 chickens were stolen on March 22 near Holsworthy. Reference CR/025307/20 and the theft of sheep near Chudleigh that have been slaughtered at the scene most likely for private sale or consumption. Reference CR/025243/20.’

‘Please avoid buying meat from unusual sources, stolen meat or meat which has been slaughtered unlawfully.

‘We have had some reports of individuals cold calling on rural business and farms and the subsequent theft of scrap metal, road fuel and heating oil. 

‘Additionally, the Environment Agency has provided a report in relation to waste disposal, where an individual has visited farms offering to upgrade their tracks and roads for free as a way of getting illegal waste onto the land.’

The EA would encourage Farmers and Landowners to improve their understanding of the guidance available at: and If in any doubt check with your local EA officer. 

Crime prevention advice can be found on the Devon and Cornwall Police website.

Anyone able to offer information regarding these incidents is asked to email [email protected] or by calling 101 quoting the relevant crime reference numbers above. 

Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or reporting online at

Keep up to date on rural issues and follow us on twitter @DCPoliceRural_C and I would also encourage all to sign up to their local watch schemes. 

Please follow the government guidelines in relation to COVID-19: