You are viewing 1 of your 2 free articles

You’ll need to join us by becoming a member to gain more access.
Already a Member?

Login Join us now

Young shepherd, 14, left devastated after flock attacked by dogs twice in 36 hours

Don't Miss

A young shepherd was left devastated after his flock of Zwartbles was attacked by loose dogs twice in 36 hours.

Twitter Facebook
Share This

Young shepherd, 14, left devastated after flock attacked by dogs twice in 36 hours

Archie Downie, 14, built up the flock on the back of his pocket money and savings from bagpipe busking after spending hours with his neighbour, shepherd John Fotheringham, learning the tricks of the trade in the hope to one day have a winner at the Royal Highland Show.


But a two-part rampage at their home in Ardler, Blairgowrie, savaged the youngster’s 15-strong flock – including five pedigree Zwartble ewes.


“Archie was really upset. All that was left of one twin lamb was its leg,” his mother, Zoey Downie, said.


A prompt move to the family’s smaller 0.8 ha (2 acre) paddock, Ardler, Blairgowrie, saw a further attack leave the young shepherd’s best lamb ‘no good for showing or breeding’.


“I saw a flash of black come down our drive – it was a dog followed by its owner,” added Mrs Downie.

Getting our Take the Lead signs

Getting our Take the Lead signs

We have 1,000s of livestock worrying signs which you can nail to gateposts or fenceposts near footpaths to highlight the problem to walkers.



“Of course I am out of the house in a shot before I am shouting, telling her we have four sheep still due to lamb and six lambs in the field.


“But the owner said ‘the dog will not harm them’ – a familiar cry of all dog owners I talk to.”


Mrs Downie said the dog was quick to jump the electric fence before chasing the sheep in what she slammed as the ‘human cost of carelessness’.


The attack caused one pedigree Zwartble ewe to abort its almost full-term triplets one-week early and what was set to be the young shepherd’s best lamb suffered a twisted foot.


“These things happen I suppose,” Archie said. “I was very angry and I just want people to be aware of the damage their dogs can do.




“It is OK for me but for a farmer their livelihood depends on it.”


Mrs Downie added: “Who knows if that lamb will be what could have been a prize winner? Yes, in this instance there was no bloody carcass to look at and yes, Archie still has all his sheep but there has certainly been huge harm done.”









Twitter Facebook
Rating (0 vote/s)
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

Related blogs

From the editor: Time the public realised they have to Take the Lead

From the editor: Time the public realised they have to Take the Lead

The attitude of some dog owners towards their pets’ behaviour continues to beggar belief, such is the view that their canine companions could not harm man nor beast.

More News

Farmers urged to be vigilant as Bluetongue cases confirmed in northern France

Defra has urged farmers to be vigilant for signs of Bluetongue virus (BTV) in the wake of a confirmed case of BTV-8 in northern France, a previously disease-free area.

‘The risks are just too high’ - Major sky lantern festival causes farmer angst

Farmers have spoken of their concern at the prospect of a major sky lantern festival later in the year.

Outbreaks of bovine TB down 7% - but slaughterings increase

FARM chiefs have welcomed the latest bovine TB (bTB) figures from Defra which showed new outbreaks have fallen by 7 per cent since last year, but acknowledged the decrease will be little comfort to farmers affected by

ADVICE: Resolving boundary disputes on the farm - a look at the options...

Boundary disputes can be one of the most time-consuming and emotionally fraught experiences that farm owners may deal with.

Farming industry cannot function without guarantee on migrant labour

WORKING rights of non-British EU vets and veterinary nurses must be guaranteed without time limit if the veterinary and food safety sectors are able to function, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) president has said.
FG Insight and FGInsight.com are trademarks of Briefing Media Ltd.
Farmers Guardian and FarmersGuardian.com are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.
All material published on FGInsight.com and FarmersGuardian.com is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. All rights reserved.
RSS news feeds