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Animal activists ‘linked to dog theft’

SUFFOLK POLICE are investigating whether animal rights activists could be behind the theft of four dogs from a Suffolk farm last month.

The dogs were being kept at the home Washbrook, Suffolk home of Philip Taylor, a farmer with a six-year ban preventing him from keeping animals.

However, the dogs stolen from his farm were not owned by Taylor and are believed to belong to his daughter, who is thought to be living with her father temporarily.

Thieves broke into an old stable on the farm and took a four-month-old white male Saluki, a two-year-old tan/black/white bitch Jack Russell, a four-month-old chocolate coloured bitch Collie/Labrador cross and a four-month-old male black and white Collie/Labrador cross.

Taylor, 75, was recently fined £300 at South East Magistrates' Court for ignoring his ban after admitting buying and selling horses. He accepted he had six horses on his farm but said they also belonged to his daughter.

However, magistrates found he had been in sole possession of a horse when he transported it from his farm in Old London Road, Washbrook to be sold in Trimley St Martin.

The court heard that Elizabeth Kenyon and Carol Marshall had visited Hill House Farm and seen a ‘scrawny little pony up to his knees in muck and dirt’. They agreed to buy the horse and Mr Taylor transported it in a trailer.

Taylor's ban followed an earlier investigation by RSPCA officials which found he had starved a horse. The animal was found emaciated and close to death.

The dog theft took place between 10pm on Thursday, June 22, and 6.45am the following day.

A spokesman for Hadleigh police confirmed that the dogs had been reported stolen and added that RSPCA officials had not seized the dogs. It is believed however, that animal activists stole the dogs to rehome them somewhere far away from Taylor.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact Pc Bill Ormsby at Hadleigh police on 01473 613500.