Geese belonging to the Prince of Wales have been stolen. The entire flock of geese, intended for the Prince?s Duchy Originals brand, was stolen, while ducklings were killed to disguise the theft.
350 Wessex white geese were herded into a lorry by the thieves after being removed from a barn in Higher Fingle Farm in Crockernwell, Devon. The thieves then set fire to the barn, killing 800 ducklings.
The geese would have sold for around £50 each, with the ducklings valued at £15 each. The total loss is worth around £30,000.
The Prince of Wales has written to the owners of the barn, Rona and Nevil Amiss, to express his sadness. Mr and Mrs Amiss have said that, despite supplying Duchy originals for six years, they cannot face keeping free-range geese again.
Mrs Amiss, 40, said: ?I don?t understand how anybody could commit such a despicable, evil act ? We woke at 4am to find the barn on fire – there was very little we could do by then. Four of the children were awake and had to watch as the creatures they helped to rear died in a horrible way.?
Police believe that the fire was started in order to destroy evidence and provide a distraction for the getaway.
Duchy Originals will now no longer be able to supply organic geese to Sainsbury?s for Christmas after the entire flock was taken and ducklings killed. A spokesman issued a statement saying: ?This is a heartbreaking incident for the Amiss family, who have worked so hard and passionately to raise their geese organically and to the highest welfare standards.?