A surge in dog attacks has pushed a vet to call for better connection between farmers and dog walkers.
Gethin Edwards of Willows Farm Vets said a sheep worrying incident on Good Friday (April 14) was one of the worst he had ever seen.
He said his role as a vet to ‘bridge the gap’ between farmers and the general public had at this point been made increasingly difficult.
“It is very disappointing to see something like that where the owners have never previously been bothered to take control of their pet,” Mr Edwards said.
“It is so disheartening especially when farmers put so much effort into ensuring the lambs are in good health.
“The chat I often have with Mr Briggs about the number of lambs he has put out and how he can ensure their best performance just seems like a huge waste of time after incidents like this.”
The attack left Joe Briggs, of Wood Farm, Wirswall with 11 of the 242 grazing lambs with eviscerated intestines and extensive superficial wounds.
Eight of the lambs were put down and a further three were shot.
Mr Briggs said: “It is quite upsetting when you see lambs running around with their guts hanging out.
“Fortunately there was just a batch that the dogs got into but it could have been a lot worse. I hate to think what could have happened, it could have been an absolute shambles.
“I do not want to see it again.”
The incident came as a farmer in Colinsburgh, Fife was targeted with death threats after shooting a Siberian husky for worrying his sheep.
Dave Bell of Balcarres Estate received abusive online messages after the dog’s owner said he should not have shot his pet because ‘the damage had been done and it was not going to get any worse’.
Another two dogs were shot dead by a farmer last week after injuring seven sheep and killing another two on a farm near Bridge of Marnoch, Scotland just days before a further two dogs killed 30 lambs in an incident in Ammanford, Wales.
Lake District National Park ranger Val Edmondson echoed the plea and used lambing season to push the message that worrying incidents could be avoided with ‘a bit of care and common sense’.
School children will be taught about the impact of dog attacks on livestock and the importance of keeping the family pet under control around farm animals thanks to a joint initiative between Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) and Farmers Guardian.