Paper 2085: Sheep theft in the UK from a supply chain perspective

Robert Smith

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


It is widely accepted that in farming and food industry circles that much farm theft is committed by urban-marauders. However, sheep theft on an industrial scale requires insider knowledge of both farming and food sector practices. In other words, it requires the involvement of complicit insiders or rogue-farmers. For almost 20 years there were no convictions for sheep theft in the UK but of late there have been several high-profile cases reported in the press. This study documents the involvement of predatory Industry insiders in the parallel illegal supply chain. Such individuals could be categorised as being ‘of the land’ because they have connections to the land being farmers, farm managers or workers and in some cases agricultural contractors. This apercus, highlights obvious implications for the investigation and prevention of such crimes and challenges wisdom of blaming all farm crime on urban-marauders, albeit a small percentage of such crimes are committed by urban opportunists.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationAgri-Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2017


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