Herd Through the Grapevine

Colorful Solution
For Lamb Robbery

Sheep theft in England has become so serious that farmers are being forced to come up with ever more creative ways to ward off thieves.
After seeing his livestock rapidly declining, and everything else to prevent it failing, Okehampton, Devon, farmer John Heard decided to go for broke: he painted his sheep orange!
His rationale is plain and simple: the bright hue of orange is so distinguished that robbers will think twice before stealing them. And it seems to be working: after having lost about 200 ewes to illegal raids in recent years, Heard haven’t lost a single one so far in 2011.
It does help that the effect on the blackface sheep flock is visually striking. The animals can be spotted miles away. And there’s no harm to them: the dye is innocuous and wears off soon enough.
According to the U.K.’s National Farmer Union, high prices and the recession make people more willing to accept meat from unreliable sources. As a result, there’s a five-fold increase in rural crimes like sheep rustling in the country this year.
The idea seems to be catching on and some farmers are considering similar measures with their own herds. One even mentioned he’s ready to dye his cows pink and blue.

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