Three lambs taken from the King’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk remain missing, according to police.
Activist group Animal Rising previously claimed credit for taking the lambs, adding that the incident “marks the first” of its “high-profile ‘open rescues’ this summer”.
The group said that the animals were taken by three activists from Appleton Farm at 8pm on Wednesday.
A statement from Norfolk Constabulary on Friday said that three female suspects had been released on bail.
“Three women arrested on suspicion of theft after three lambs were reported stolen from a field in West Newton have been released on police bail,” a police spokesperson said
“The women, aged in their 20s and 30s, were arrested in Slough and taken to Maidenhead police station for questioning.
“They are due to answer police bail on July 6 at King’s Lynn Police Investigation Centre.
“The lambs are still missing.”
Imagery released by the group showed three women, in pink Animal Rising T-shirts, walking through a field of sheep and loading the lambs into the back of a vehicle.
Animal Rising said that the lambs would have been sent for slaughter.
They added that the women handed themselves into police in Windsor, Berkshire at 8am on Thursday, with banners saying “I rescued the King’s sheep” and “This is how we love animals”.
Sarah Foy, 23, one of the women involved, explained why the lambs had been taken.
She said: “Like anyone, animals want to live out their lives safely and without being used or exploited.
“Sadly that is not the case here at Sandringham, or anywhere they are used in our food system.
“That is exactly why we rescued three sheep today – three beautiful lambs who’ll now live their lives to the fullest.
“We urgently need a national conversation about our relationship with other animals and nature.”