A HERD of cattle has been stolen from a South Somerset farm after a barn door was forced open in the night.

Avon and Somerset Police are appealing for information after the theft, from the remote location in Summer Lane, Hinton St George.

The barn door was forced open and 11 cattle were taken between 4pm on January 12 and 8am the following morning.

PC Simon Reeves, the area's neighbourhood beat manager, said: "Each of the cattle, which were a mixture of British Friesian, Hereford Cross, and British Blue, would have had a yellow ear tag containing the reference UK342697.

"The number and size of the animals taken means the offenders would have needed to use a large vehicle.

"We would ask any members of the public who have any information relating to the theft, or have been offered animals for sale, to contact the police.

"We also would like to hear from anybody should they see cattle being transported late at night. It is extremely unusual to move cattle after dark at this time of year."

We would advise anybody concerned about rural crime to sign up to the force's Farm Watch scheme. For more information, visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/apply/farm-watch and to follow Rural Crime Avon and Somerset Police's Facebook page. Practical advice is available to deter criminals and reduce crime in rural districts.

Anyone with information about the cattle theft is asked to call 101 and quote reference 5220010016 or to contact us online.