A 25-year-old man who stole over £87,000 worth of sheep has been handed an eight month prison sentence.
Daniel Smith, from Sutton St. Nicholas, Hereford, pleaded guilty to four counts of livestock theft for crimes committed between November 2020 to January 2021.
The sheep were stolen from four locations in fields in the Marden, Sutton St Nicholas and Cross Keys areas of Herefordshire.
One of the farmers affected by Mr Smith's crimes identified sheep being sold at Hereford Livestock Market as those stolen from his farm.
Subsequently, the farmer recovered 92% of the stolen sheep with the help of West Mercia Police.
Mr Smith was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday 4 August to eight months imprisonment.
A proceeds of crime hearing is scheduled to take place on 24 November.
West Mercia Police's Wildlife Crime Officer, PC Josh Kitchen said the force was pleased with the result of the investigation.
He said he hoped it reassured the farming community that livestock theft would not be tolerated and that police would fully investigate these incidents.
“I would like to thank the farmers involved for their assistance in this investigation as well as the cooperation of Hereford Livestock Market.
"Without their assistance it is unlikely these sheep would have ever been recovered.”
Livestock rustling remains one of the most costly crimes for British farmers after vehicle and machinery theft.
Figures by NFU Mutual show that farm animals worth an estimated £2.3m were stolen from UK farms in 2020.