Seven arrested as investigation into suspected illegal abattoir is launched

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Police are urging people to report suspicious sales of meat following the discovery of a suspected illegal abattoir in Arleston, Telford.

The discovery was made at around 9.15pm last night (Thursday 16 April) when officers responded to reports of a collision with a dog on Elmwood Road. As part of their associated enquiries officers attended an address in Charles Road where they discovered a disturbing scene with a large amount of blood on the driveway. Inside they discovered three sheep in a very poor state of health and one already sadly dead.

Seven men, aged between 18 and 36, were arrested at the address on suspicion of theft and currently remain in police custody.

Inspector Craig Smith said: “Illegal butchery and sheep theft are serious offences. Not only are there risks in consuming meat when it isn’t from a reputable source but illegal butchery can also cause unnecessary suffering to the animal. Rural crime such as this also has a serious emotional and financial impact on our farming communities, of course, there are financial repercussions to farmers whose animals are stolen.

“We’ve launched an investigation into this incident and I would ask our communities across the whole West Mercia police area to contact us if you think someone is selling illegal meat.

“I would also like to ask those in our more rural areas to report suspicious activity around farmland, particularly whilst there is less traffic on the road due to the current lockdown. By reporting anything suspicious in or near fields of livestock you can make a significant difference to helping us stop this type of crime.”

Anyone with information is asked to call West Mercia Police on quoting incident number 0765s 16 April 2020. Alternatively, information can be given to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or by visiting their website:

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