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Separate national statistics for sheep stealing are not available. There has been some increase in the total figures for thefts of sheep, horses and cattle. The police do all they can, in co-operation with farmers, to prevent and detect these offences, and on the information at present available my right hon. Friend does not consider that action on his part is necessary. The maximum penalty for these offences is fourteen years' imprisonment.
Does my hon. Friend agree that the penalties are severe enough if the culprits can be caught? Does she agree that the difficulty experienced by the police at the moment is catching the rustlers on moorland country? If the situation were to deteriorate, would my hon. Friend's Department be prepared to set up an inquiry into the situation?