Animal Rising: Activists charged after ‘stealing’ sheep from King Charles’ Sandringham Estate in Norfolk

The group stole sheep from King Charles’ Sandringham estate   (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell)
The group stole sheep from King Charles’ Sandringham estate (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell)

Animal Rising protesters have been charged over allegedly stealing King Charles’ sheep from his royal Sandringham Estate. Police charged Sarah Foy, 23, Rose Patterson, 34, and Rosa Sharkey, 23 with theft, three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and three counts of failing to record the movement of an animal.

Vegan protest group Animal Rising is an offshoot of climate group Extinction Rebellion. The group claimed to be behind the theft on May 24 when it released a video of three women walking through a field in West Newton, Norfolk, and loading three lambs into the back of a vehicle.

The group believes that transitioning to a plant-based food system is the ‘key solution’ to solving climate emergencies and seeks a future where ‘no animals are exploited’. In the video, the women were wearing pink Animal Rising t-shirts as they carried the animals away from Appleton Farm on the King’s land.

They said they rescued the lambs, who they named Sammy, Sunny and Sooty, to save them from slaughter. A statement posted on the group’s social media at the time of the theft read: “Last night, Rose, Sarah and Rosa entered His Majesty’s Sandringham Estate, Norfolk, and managed to leave with three beautiful young lambs.

“Because of the bravery and compassion of these women, three babies Sammy, Sunny and Sooty will now be allowed to live their lives freely, in a safe space where they are not seen as objects or products, but as the sentient, emotional, lovely little individuals they are.

“By rescuing these lambs, Rose, Sarah and Rosa are hoping to not only give these gorgeous lambs a chance at a real life, but also to provoke conversation: we love animals, so why would we ever want to hurt them in this way?”

Sandringham Estate consists of 2,400 hectares of farmland, with an additional 4,000 hectares rented by tenant farmers. There are around 3,000 royal sheep on the land.

Police said the group later handed themselves in at a police station in Slough, Berkshire, in relation to the theft. The trio have been released on police bail and will appear at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court on September 28.