LONDON: Animal rights campaigners said on Thursday they had “rescued” three lambs from slaughter on a farm on King Charles III’s Sandringham estate in eastern England.

The Animal Rising activist group, which disrupted last month’s Grand National steeplechase, said three of its members had entered the grounds of Appleton Farm on the royal estate late Wednesday and taken the lambs.

It posted footage on social media, arguing that the animals would have been sent for slaughter.

Three women -- named as Rosa, Rose and Sarah -- then turned themselves into police in Windsor, west of London, after posing for pictures outside the town’s royal castle holding protest placards.

One read: “I rescued the king’s sheep”.

“They did this because rescuing animals from harm is the right thing to do,“ Animal Rising said on Twitter.

“These women have acted out of compassion and they stand by the belief that a jury of ordinary people will take the side of care and freedom.

“This is how we fix our broken relationship with animals.”

Police said they were investigating reports that three lambs had been stolen from a farm.

“Three women aged in their 20s and 30s voluntarily attended a police station... and were arrested on suspicion of theft,“ the force added. “They remain in custody.”

- Flower show targeted -

Also on Thursday, police in London arrested three activists from the environmental pressure group Just Stop Oil, after they threw paint over a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

The capital’s Metropolitan Police said the trio were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and that its “enquiries are ongoing”.

The force released a picture showing orange paint splashed across an exhibit at the flower show, the highlight of the British horticultural year which opened to the public on Tuesday.

Just Stop Oil confirmed three women had thrown paint over a garden designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes, an award-winning plantsman, early on Thursday.

The group, which demands that the UK government stop all new fossil fuel projects, has staged a flurry of eye-catching direct-action protests in recent years.

They include throwing tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” painting and halting play at the World Snooker Championship after spraying orange powder on one of the tables. -AFP