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Farmers plead with dog owners after savage sheep attacks

A farmer has reiterated calls to dog owners to control their animals after one of her pedigree ewes was horrifically attacked.


Olivia   Midgley

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Olivia   Midgley
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The farmer, who asked not to be named, said the Suffolk shearling ewe’s back legs were savaged and its muscles were ‘ripped apart’.

 

The fields in Clitheroe, Lancashire are closed off to the public, but the farmer and her husband said they had seen human footprints through the pastures where the sheep graze.

 

“My husband saw a lot of fleece in the field and all the sheep were huddled in a corner,” she said.

 

“We managed to catch the injured sheep and I thought we were going to have to have her put down but the vet who treated her thought we would give her chance as she had worked so hard to survive the attack.”

 

Despite calls from the farming industry and countryside groups, dog attacks on livestock continue to remain a big problem in the UK.

 

Earlier this week Irish farmers Gus and Olive Martyn were counting the cost of a devastating attack by loose dogs which killed 19 lambs and three ewes. Several more from the Dunderry flock of 65 ewes were not expected to survive.

 

Just a day earlier dogs killed three ewes and five lambs and killed 25 on a neighbouring farm within 24 hours.

 

The Irish Farmers Association said ‘marauding dogs attacking sheep’ was ‘wrecking’ the sheep industry and called for tighter laws on the control of dogs.

 

Meath IFA sheep chairman, Eamon Meade, said a levy on all pet food to fund control by dog wardens could go some way to addressing the problem.

 

As farmers prepare for lambing and pregnant ewes are at their most vulnerable, FG continues to work hard to get the message across to dog owners that keeping their pets on a lead around livestock is the only option.

 

Last year FG teamed up with the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the National Sheep Association (NSA) to launch Take the Lead, a UK-wide campaign to raise awareness of dog attacks on livestock.

 

It came after a Freedom of Information request to UK police forces found there were more than 1,000 dog attacks on Britain’s farms in 2013.

 


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FG Take the Lead campaign

FG Take the Lead campaign

Farmers Guardian is taking the lead by raising awareness among the British public about livestock worrying and speaking up for our readers’ concerns.

 

Getting our signs

 

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

 

If you would like some signs, please send a stamped, self-addressed A4 envelope to FG Take the Lead, Farmers Guardian, Unit 4, Fulwood Business Park, Preston, PR2 9NZ. 

 

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