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Hay, what’s that? Great Yarmouth shopkeeper finds large bullets in pet bedding

PUBLISHED: 16:19 13 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:19 13 March 2014

The bullets found in the packet of hay by Jany Fitzgerald. Picture: LC

The bullets found in the packet of hay by Jany Fitzgerald. Picture: LC


A pet shop owner made a shock discovery after she found a round of ammunition embedded in a packet of hay.

Jany Fitzgerald, who runs Jany Pets in Great Yarmouth, noticed something unusual in the pack after it was dropped off at her store on Friday.

She tore through the plastic wrap and was startled when she pulled eight large bullets – ex-military 303 rounds – from the strips of hay.

The bundle of hay was part of a delivery dropped off at her Dene Side store on Friday morning.

She said: “A man picked it up and brought it [over] and you could see it in there. I thought it was a child’s toy to start with, and thought it was an artificial something. I had to break it open to see what was actually in there.

“When I could see it was real Iooking I thought ‘oh my God’. It’s not what you expect to see.”

Mrs Fitzgerald called her husband down to the shop and he pulled the rest of bullets out of the package, before she alerted police and suppliers Su-Bridge. An officer called round soon after and removed the ammunition – believed to be live – from the premises.

Su-Bridge, based in Thetford, said it was not known how the bullets got into the packet of meadow hay, which Jany Pets sells as bedding for small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

Ian Manning, managing director of the pet supplies firm, said the hay was packaged by a company on behalf of Su-Bridge and he had been in contact with them about the strange appearance.

“We can’t understand why it’s got through the machinery without being detected by the metal detector,” he said.

“If you put a staple in it, it would chuck it out, it’s that sensitive.

“The machinery is fully audited. It’s a mystery as to how it got in there.”

Mr Manning said three blends of hay were used in the package, one of which is grown on Salisbury Plain where the Army carry out training exercises.

He added: “They pack three million units of that product a year and this hasn’t happened before. We can’t understand how it got through the metal detection.”

A police spokesman said the bullets were still to be examined but they are believed to be live rounds. They will be taken away by the Army in due course.

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