Animal activists spark fury by taking ‘terrified’ lambs away from their mothers on the King's Sandringham estate

26 May 2023, 06:11 | Updated: 26 May 2023, 08:35

Police said the three women had been arrested on suspicion of theft
Police said the three women had been arrested on suspicion of theft. Picture: Animal Rising

By Asher McShane

Eco activists sparked outrage yesterday after snatching lambs away from their mothers at a royal farm.

Three protesters from Animal Rising, in pink t-shirts, walked through a field of sheep from the King's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk before loading the lambs into the back of a vehicle.

Animal Rising said that the women took the three lambs from Appleton Farm at around 8pm on Wednesday.

The group said that the lambs would have been sent for slaughter.

Animal Rising said that the women handed themselves into police in Windsor, Berkshire at 8am on Thursday, with banners saying: "I rescued the King's sheep"; and: "This is how we love animals".

'Morons working against their own cause': Landscaper behind garden targeted by eco-activists brands protest 'shameful'

Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player

Tory MP Peter Bone said: “When a very, very tiny minority is ruining the lives of other people, action needs to be taken. If this were to continue and the current laws are not strong enough, the Government will have to introduce new laws. 

“We are not talking about peaceful protest. This completely ruins the lives of the vast majority of people. We just can't carry on like this.”

The three women said they rescued the lambs dubbed Sammy, Sunny and Sooty, to save them from slaughter.

Farmers, countryside campaigners and MPs last night condemned the 'traumatising' stunt. The lambs’ whereabouts is not known and the group is being urged to return the animals to their mothers.

Nicola Noble of the National Sheep Association said: “The mothers have likely spent the last 24 hours scouring the field for their lambs, bleating endlessly with no hope of finding them.

“These animals would no doubt have been terrified as they were chased and manhandled by complete strangers.

“Being bundled into the back of a dark van would have been highly distressing for the sheep involved – not to mention the risk of potential disease contamination. The lambs, I imagine, will be endlessly bleating, hopelessly calling out in search for their mothers.” The group said on its website that the incident "marks the first" of its "high-profile 'open rescues' this summer".

Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player
Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player. Picture: LBC

Sarah Foy, 23, one of the women involved, said: "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."

A Norfolk Police spokesman 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."

The Sandringham Estate has been approached for comment.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

England have qualified for the last 16 at Euro 2024.

England qualify for last 16 at Euro 2024 after Spain beat Albania

Rishi Sunak criticised Labour's proposed plans to tackle migration rates in the UK.

UK would be ‘illegal migration capital of world’ under Labour, Sunak says as he sets out plans to ‘stop the boats’

Labour has made cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' should the party come to power

Labour makes cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' as Starmer proposes new child criminal exploitation offence

Spanish police are investigating if Jay's 'background' is relevant to the disappearance.

Spanish police searching for Jay Slater investigate if teenager’s background is ‘relevant’ to his disappearance

Lord Kinnock has said he would not wish being part of the current Tory government on his 'most bloodthirsty enemies'.

‘I wish I was fighting this lot’, ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock says as he brands current Tory party 'superficial'

The president of Finland has said he 'doesn't agree with many things' Nigel Farage says in response to his comments on the war in Ukraine.

'Absolutely not': Finland's president dismisses Nigel Farage’s claim that Nato provoked Russia's war in Ukraine

A man went missing in the water off Bournemouth beach (file image)

Huge search operation launched for man missing in water off Bournemouth beach

Bosses face £1,000 fine for letting employees watch England's Euros clash with Denmark in the office

Offices showing England v Slovenia Euros clash could face hefty £1,000 fine

Princess Anne has been injured by a horse

King Charles sends 'fondest love’ to Princess Anne who will ‘quickly bounce back’ after being hit by horse

Callum the stag was "humanely euthanised".

Tourists blamed for death of 'legendary' stag after it was fed Rice Krispies and croissants

The Reform UK leader's comments came as he spoke to supporters at a rally in Kent on Tuesday, slamming the current government's ability to control immigration.

Farage warns of Channel migrant 'invasion' from countries 'with terrorism, gang culture and war zones'

Gavin Plumb is accused of plotting to kidnap Holly Willoughby

Obsessed security guard ‘plotted to keep Holly Willoughby in dungeon where screams couldn't be heard for miles'

At least two people have died in the fire

At least two dead as Moscow defence research centre bursts into flames ‘with staff trapped inside’

Parisians along River Seine, below Cathedral Notre Dame celebrate Fête de la Musique - annual city-wide music festival each June

British woman 'gang-raped in Paris at music festival'

Florida rapper Julio Foolio has been shot dead

Florida rapper Julio Foolio shot dead during his birthday in Florida

Meg Bellamy played Kate Middleton in The Crown

The Crown star Meg Bellamy reveals trolls branded her 'too fat' to play Kate in the show