Royal Watch News
Cattle rustler targets Queen Elizabeth
Jun 3, 2009, 10:45 GMT
Cattle rustlers have targeted Britain's Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham estate.
Thieves stole 19 Red Poll cows worth over £15,000 from the property in Norfolk, east England, some time after 9.30pm on May 20.
The cattle - which were being fattened up before being sent to slaughter - were owned by Tony Barratt, who rents 300 acres from the 83-year-old monarch.
He said: "I found the gate to my yard open and the cattle missing. At first I thought they had been let out. Then it gradually dawned that they had been stolen.
"I would dearly like to find them, but I think they would have shown up by now if they were still alive. It's a terrible feeling. It makes me feel quite ill.
"Being on the Sandringham Estate I had a greater sense of security, perhaps even a false sense of security. I thought it would put thieves off."
Beef from Barratt's 300-strong herd is sold in local shops under the name Sandringham Beef and it is regularly eaten by the royal family and their guests.
The 55-year-old farmer added to Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper: "I know the queen and prince Charles enjoy my meat".
Meanwhile, half a million bees due to be transferred to Balmoral Castle in Scotland next month have been stolen from the royal beekeeper's nearby farm.
Murray McGregor - who keeps 250 hives at the castle - thinks a rival beekeeper is responsible for the theft.
Police are investigating both incidents.