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Animal Lorries Stopped in South Somerset as Police Tackle Rural Crime

31 Jul 2015 2:42 PM | Deleted user

Agricultural lorries and trailers were stopped in south Somerset as part of a joint rural crime operation.

Officers from Avon and Somerset police worked with Trading Standards, Animal and Plant Health Agency and VOSA to check vehicles and the conditions of animals being transported.

They also checked drivers had correct paperwork relating to livestock.

A total of 15 vehicles were pulled in during the morning operation and no concerns were found relating to the health and welfare of any animals being transported.

But Trading Standards made referrals to their Dorset colleagues for an advisory relating to the length of journey of one Animals Transport Certificate and also for one driver not having the correct authorisation form for animals transportation.

VOSA made several bans meaning drivers could not leave the site without rectifying the problem or dealing with the issue in a limited period of time.

They included a bald tyre, faulty mirrors, a trailer handbrake fault, insecure scaffolding and a faulty light bulb on a trailer.

PC Katy Drabble from the Rural Crime Team said: "We were stopping vehicles yesterday to ensure that large vehicles, carrying a lot of weight - in some cases animals - were road worthy and weren't presenting a danger to themselves or other drivers.

"We were also working with our partners to check on the condition of the animals and to look for any stolen livestock, as there has been an increase in this area over the past few months."

She added: "We understand the impact that livestock and equipment theft has on our farming and equestrian community.

"We will continue to work with our partners and our rural communities to tackle rural crime, ensure the safety of our roads and deal with the issues that local people and businesses are citing as their priorities.

"We are really grateful to the farmers and drivers who were very patient while we were stopping people and doing the checks."

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "Livestock rustling is a concern residents are raising with me and I am delighted that the police have been able to carry out this day of action.

"Rural crime is already a focus for the police, with a dedicated rural crime team and a rural crime forum.

"Yesterday's operation highlights the efforts the police are going to tackle this crime, which affects the lives and livelihoods of farmers. I would encourage anyone with any information to contact the police."

Anyone who would like information or advice regarding vehicle safety or crime prevention tips for securing your home or business, or to join our Farm and Horse Watch schemes should can visit the www.avonandsomerset.police.uk website or contact local policing teams via the website or by calling 101.

Full story here: http://www.blackmorevale.co.uk/Animal-lorries-stopped-south-Somerset-police/story-27509716-detail/story.html

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