A flock of lambs were rounded up in New Malden yesterday, after they were stolen from a north Hampshire farm on Friday.

Thieves stole 50 two-week-old lambs from a farm in Upton Grey, near Basingtoke, from three separate sheep pens between 5.45pm on Friday and 7.45am on Saturday morning.

The Metropolitan Police found 44 of the lambs safe and well in New Malden.

They were identified by the owner and have been transported back to the Upton Grey farm. It is not known where the remaining six lambs are.

PC Lee Coleshill said: "Due to the young age of these lambs they are very likely to die within the next couple of days. They are too young to feed from a bottle and need to be with their mothers at this time.

"The lambs cannot be used for meat at this stage, they are not fit for human consumption due to their young age.

"This has caused a considerable amount of distress for the ewes who will now experience health problems as a result of not being able to feed the lambs.

"I would urge anyone with any information about this incident to come forward. If you know where the lambs are please let us know, or return them to the owners. The lambs are of no use to anyone at this young age and are very likley to die within the next couple of days unless they are returned."

The exact details of how and where they were found are not yet known, but officers from Surrey are working with the Metropolitan Police to find the thieves.

Anyone with information can contact PC Coleshill at Whitchurch police station by calling 101 or phoning Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.