With the price of meat going up, the thieves are rustling cattle and sheep. In the UK, they have devised an invisible liquid to mark the sheep that only show up under ultraviolet lights.
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POLICE are using invisible forensically-marked liquid and hi-tech number plate recognition equipment in a bid to beat sheep rustlers.
Officers say there has been a spate of sheep thefts in Powys in the last two months, and in response they are increasing patrols and using the latest crime-fighting technology to catch those response.
Nine separate incidents have been reported in the county since September, with animals worth thousands of pounds taken. Among the techniques being used by police are Smartwater - invisible liquid which carries unique markers that show-up under ultraviolet light - and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to identify and track suspected vehicles.
Police say they are also working with trading standards across Powys to target the movement of animals.
Dyfed-Powys Police sergeant Craig Morgan from the Breconshire neighborhood policing team said: “Since September 2014 there have been nine separate cases of sheep theft, leading to the loss of thousands of pounds worth of stock.
"We are working closely with trading standards across Powys to tackle these thefts. We are undertaking joint operations and are actively stopping vehicles transporting livestock to ensure they are not stolen and have the appropriate documentation. We need everyone in the county to be vigilant and to report to us anything which they think is suspicious.”