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Last Updated: Monday, 8 November, 2004, 06:06 GMT
Thieves target valuable gun dogs
Spaniels are among breeds of dogs being stolen by criminal gangs
Gun dog owners are being warned to keep an eye on their animals after a number of recent thefts.

Trained dogs are valuable and seen by thieves as a saleable commodity, say West Yorkshire Police.

Recently a number of dogs have been recovered in the county after being stolen elsewhere in the area.

Breeds including cocker spaniels, springer spaniels and terriers are being stolen by gangs either for sale or breeding purposes.

West Yorkshire Police wildlife officer Sally Smart said: "Whilst the majority of gun dog thefts are reported in the Home Counties, incidents in West Yorkshire are becoming more common place.

"Gun dogs are primarily taken by people who know what they are looking for.

"They may be taken for their skills or for the purpose of breeding.

"We would encourage owners with valuable dogs such as these to get them micro-chipped and take extra security measures wherever possible".

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