Budgie breeder 'suspects sabotage'
A top budgerigar breeder has spoken of his devastation after returning home to find his champion bird killed in a suspected sabotage attack by a rival.
Andrew Pooley, 58, of Delabole, Cornwall, discovered his prize bird Penmead Pride had been stamped on and 21 others - worth £2,000 - stolen.
Mr Pooley suspects he has been the victim of sabotage by a rival breeder and the incident is being investigated by police.
The killing happened on August 20 - the night before the Cornwall Budgerigar Show - where Penmead Pride was crowned champion last year.
Mr Pooley had been due to take part in the event but was forced to withdraw because of the loss of his prize birds.
Speaking of his shock, Mr Pooley said: "I was devastated. I felt sick. It's a feeling I can't explain.
"I have spent 40 years of my life breeding budgies and it's just in the last five that I have started to do really well on the show circuit.
"I spent most of my time with the birds, they were my life."
Mr Pooley said he had made appeals in specialist budgerigar publications in the hope of catching those responsible and getting his birds back.
"There's nothing I can do to put this right," he said.