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Alpaca hut theft in Burghfield

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Thieves made off with shelter and equipment

A Burghfield alpaca-keeper has appealed to the public after a pod she uses to house her animals was stolen last week.

Sue Taylor operates Meander Alpacas, a business that offers alpaca trekking experiences.

Her alpacas – Apollo, Winnie, Hermes and Conway – were said to have been left in a state of distress early last Friday after thieves made off with their equipment and apparatus.

This included a specialist shelter, or ‘pod’.

Ms Taylor said: “The way that they stole the pod was quite unique, because it was quite heavy and they’d obviously lifted it over the fence because they didn’t break the fence.”

Staff at Amners Farms – where Meander is based – were able to relocate the animals shortly after the theft of the pod.

Had it not been for this intervention, Ms Taylor believes that the thieves could have stolen the alpacas as well.

Meander’s insurance provider has informed Ms Taylor that it would only cover the cost of the alpacas themselves.

She will not be reimbursed for the stolen hurdles, mats, pod and trough, which are collectively valued at around £1,700.

As a result, Ms Taylor has been forced to turn to wellwishers and friends of Meander for support.

Theale’s branch of the National Farmers’ Union has donated £500 towards the cost of the stolen goods.

Ms Taylor said: “I’m truly grateful.

“The alpacas are all-weather animals, but their shelter is their only protection from the elements.

“It’s what we use to train them – hence, it’s essential.”

The company which produced the alpaca pod has not sold a similar unit for around six months.

Ms Taylor therefore urges the public to keep an eye out, saying: “The pod was so unique – it was a bespoke one that they built for us.

“If there is one being sold anywhere, or if anybody sees one, the chances are it might be mine.”

To make a donation towards the cost of the stolen equipment, visit tinyurl.com/y6cnhqls

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