A NOVICE LIZARD canary breeder and exhibitor has had his entire stud stolen only three years into his birdkeeping hobby.
During the late evening of December 3 and 8am on December 4, 80 canaries – 50 Lizards and 30 red factors – were taken from Southern Lizard Canary Club member Danny Higgins, 36, from Ashford in Kent.
The majority of the birds were closed-ringed with the code LCA 250.
According to the National Theft Register (NTR) this break-in is not an isolated case and is linked to other recent bird thefts in the South-East.
The NTR’s John Hayward said: “This is another major theft of a large collection of canaries in Kent. There is no doubt the aviaries were targeted as the result of the breeder exhibiting the birds at recent shows. Care and vigilance is needed as the thieves research their victims before striking.”
Mr Higgins, also an LCA and British Colour Canary Club member, had only built his new birdroom eight months previously.
He said: “The thieves cut off the latch on the door that the padlock was on, and took the padlock. There were feathers everywhere and even in the cages there were clumps of feathers. My chest was that tight that I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
“The thieves must have put the birds in a sack; it wouldn’t surprise me if half of the birds died during the struggle.”
However, the ordeal hasn’t frightened off Mr Higgins from the hobby. He said: “It’s gone over and over in my head who could have done this. You don’t think it will happen to you; I was adamant no one could access my back garden. But I won’t give up. The support from the Lizard canary fanciers has been brilliant.”
CCTV and extra security measures have been added to Mr Higgins’s property.
● Anyone with information regarding the break-in, please contact John Hayward at the National Theft Register on 01869 325 699.