Man Dyes Sheep Orange After Rustlers Take Over 200 Head
OKEHAMPTON, Scotland ~ (thisisDevon.co.uk) ~ In a case of life imitates Farmville, a farmer has found a colorful solution to stop rustlers from thinning his herd.
48-year-old cattle and sheep rancher John Heard, who has lost two hundred sheep from rustling, has resorted to dyeing 250 blackface ewes with a harmless, orange dip to ward off the nefarious thieves. The high-visibility hue seems to be working, as Heard said, "sheep rustling has become a big problem with ewes worth around £140 ($227 US) each. My flock roams Dartmoor and I was getting mighty fed up with losing so many. My son James suggested the orange dye and although it produces some strange-looking sheep it has done the trick and I haven't lost one this year".
Heard, who raises livestock at Hughslade Farm, also added, "it works because they are so easy to distinguish, making it easier for me and my neighbours to keep an eye out for them – plus the rustlers are obviously nervous about stealing such easily distinguished animals." He got the idea from his son James, who had heard about a Scottish farmer dyeing his sheep before an agricultural show. The dye will eventually wear off and presents no side effects to the sheep, although it has created some bemused reactions. "Other farmers as well as a fair few ramblers have been shocked, but others have said they are now willing to try the idea if it works. At the moment it is doing exactly what I hoped it would and stopping the rustlers in their tracks" Heard said.
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