King Charles: Animals stolen from Sandringham Estate in latest security breach

King Charles is facing more trouble after lambs from his Sandringham Estate were stolen by animal rights activists.

King Charles could be facing trouble this summer after latest security breach
© Chris Jackson / Getty Images
King Charles could be facing trouble this summer after latest security breach

Yesterday, 25 May 2023, three lambs were stolen from King Charles’ Sandringham Estate by animal rights activists.

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Three women from the Animal Rising group reportedly entered Appleton Farm, in West Newton, Norfolk, on Wednesday evening 24 May to steal the lambs, which they claimed were being readied for slaughter.

King Charles' the victim of theft on Sandringham Estate

According to The Telegraph, the women – Sarah Foy, 23, Rosa Sharkey, 23 and Rose Patterson, 33 – took the lambs from their mothers. After 'liberating' them, they placed the animals – dubbed Sooty, Sunny and Sammy – in the back of a van and reportedly took them to a 'place of safety'.

They then drove 145 miles from Sandringham to Windsor Castle to hand themselves into the police. They were photographed carrying signs which read 'I Rescued The King’s Sheep'. The women were admitted to a police station in Slough, Berkshire, and arrested on suspicion of theft.

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A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said:

Norfolk police are investigating reports three lambs were stolen from a farm in West Newton, Norfolk.
Three women aged in their 20s and 30s voluntarily attended a police station in Slough and were arrested on suspicion of theft. They remain in custody.

Theft marks the start of more 'rescues' this summer

Foy explained the women's actions by saying:

Like anyone, animals want to live out their lives safely and without being used or exploited.
Sadly that is not the case here at Sandringham, or anywhere they are used in our food system.
That is exactly why we rescued three sheep today – three beautiful lambs who’ll now live their lives to the fullest. We urgently need a national conversation about our relationship with other animals and nature.

She then called on the Royal Family to take action, saying:

The Royal family could be leading the way in this – they own land around twice the size of Greater London.
It would be an incredible statement for them to fully commit to the transition to a safe, secure, plant-based food system and a rewilding programme. Mending our connection to animals is vital in tackling the climate and nature crises.

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King Charles introduced thousands of new sheep to Sandringham Estate's 6,400 acres after he took over the farm's operations from his father, the late Prince Philip, in 2017. The estate claims to maintain the highest standards of animal welfare.

The group said on its website that the theft 'marks the first of the group’s high-profile "open rescues" this summer'. It is unclear whether that means more animals could be stolen from King Charles' land.

They also cite a recent article by The Guardian which they claim suggests King Charles and his son Prince William were 'proving to be a poor custodian' of Dartmoor National Park due to land degradation as a result of animal grazing.

Sources used:

The Telegraph: 'Animal rights protesters steal the King’s sheep'

Daily Mail: 'Animal Rising eco-mob steal lambs from Sandringham: Vegan activists target King Charles' royal country estate and drive away with animals'

Animal Rising: 'Royal Sheep Rescue: Animal Rising Free Animals From Sandringham Estate'

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