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Last Updated: Thursday September 09 2010 16:16 GMT

Hunt for thieves who killed and stole prize budgies

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A top budgie breeder is trying to find out who stamped on and killed three of his prized birds and stole 21 more after breaking into his birdcage.

Owner Andrew Pooley looks after budgies and enters them into beauty contests to win prizes.

Just before a big show in Cornwall, he went to feed his birds and found three of them dead and several more missing.

Police investigating what happened reckon a rival budgie breeder could have killed and stolen the birds.

Penmead Pride, one of the budgies killed
One of the budgies killed, Penmead Pride

One of the birds killed was Penmead Pride, who was crowned champion of the Cornwall Budgeriar Show in 2009.

Mr Pooley still has more than 40 birds left, but said that Penmead Pride was "the best budgie that I'd ever bred, without a shadow of a doubt".

He has put out lots of adverts in bird magazines in the hope that his missing birds can be found.