More than 200 pigs have been stolen from a farm at Loftus in East Cleveland. According to police reports, the pigs were taken during several raids by the rustlers.
In April this year 500 free range pigs were stolen from a farm in Staffordshire. However at this stage the police are not linking the two incidents.
At the same time cattle worth more than £15,000 have been stolen from a Royal estate farm at Sandringham in Norfolk.
Nineteen of the rare breed Red Poll cattle were stolen from Appleton Farm in West Newton. The herd included two bulls.
Farmer Tony Barratt, who has the passports for the cattle so they cannot be sold legally, speculated that rustling might become more attractive in a recession.
He added: “With them not being able to market them officially, they can only really sell them through a shady outlet.”