Dec 12,2007 00:00
EXETER, England -- Poultry thieves in Britain stole 350 geese meant for the Prince of Wales's Duchy Originals brand and set a barn fire that killed 800 ducklings.
The stolen geese would have been sold for about $100 apiece and the slain ducklings were worth about $30 each, The Times of London reported Wednesday.
"I don't understand how anybody could commit such a despicable, evil act. It is such a senseless loss and has been terrible for the whole family, our workers and the community," said Rona Amiss, who owns the farm with her husband, Nevil.
"We woke at 4 a.m. 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," she said.
Police said the fire was likely set to destroy evidence and distract from the theft.
"This is the third time we have been targeted by thieves during our career," Rona Amiss said. "Now we have decided the stress and fear are too much and we will no longer supply geese. Fire is such a serious thing and we have a family to think about. If the wind had been blowing the wrong way we could have lost a lot more."
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