A pregnant Highland heifer was mauled to death by a Rottweiler dog which had got loose without its owners’ knowledge.
The savage attack took place on land at Quaker Bridge, near Nelson, Lancashire, on Saturday (January 9) and led to the death of Highland heifer Lexi, who was due with her first later this month.
The Rottweiler, which ripped at Lexi’s back legs and tore off much of the animal’s face in the attack, was shot at the scene by a local farmer.
Lexi was part of a 30-cow herd run by Sarah and Jimmy Seed who live at nearby Briercliffe.
Mrs Seed said: "We got a call to say there had been a dog attack and when we got there we could not even get into the field because the Rottweiler kept pouncing at the gate.
"I rang the police but we ended up having the dog shot on-site because it was such a risk.
"When I saw what it had done to Lexi I was completely hysterical. It was such a horrific death for an animal I cared so much about. I am devastated."
Mrs Seed said the dog had escaped from a nearby house and the owners had no idea it had got loose. In fact, when Mr Seed told them about the attack just after 10am they were convinced the dog was still in the house.
With no insurance in place for such an incident, Mrs Seed said she could be several thousand pounds out of pocket.
Mrs Seed, who describes herself as a hobby farmer and who works full time as a teaching assistant, said the public simply were not aware of the damage their dogs can do.
And with dogs sales booming in lockdown, there are fears in some quarters there could be a spike in incidents such as this as people either get bored of their pets or fail to train them properly.
She added: "People think their pets would never do this, but any dog is capable of inflicting damage. People need to understand. I’d also encourage farmers to take out insurance against such attacks as they seem to be getting more common."