A farmer is ’upset’ after being forced to shoot dead two escaped dogs he caught attacking his sheep.
Stuart Alderson, of Paddock Leach Farm near Bury, discovered the dogs with his sheep on Friday morning (January 19).
He is now urging dog owners to ensure their pets are secure and on leads when on or near farmland.
He told the Bury Times: "The dogs had separated five breeding ewes from the remainder. The dogs had escaped from a property backing onto the countryside.
"It was awful to have to shoot them. I tried to get the dogs off the livestock but they kept going back.
“The dogs would not leave the sheep alone, I had no choice. It was upsetting to have to do it. Vets came straight to the farm.
"The vets were here for four hours stitching up the sheep. There wasn’t enough skin to stitch, the sheep have also been stapled, but two of them have holes in them.”
Mr Alderson is using honey to help the sheep heal, with three still needing care.
He continued: "We don’t know whether they will breed and there is concerns over infection on two of the sheep, because the dog bites are so deep.”
"The owners are very sorry for what has happened, and have said they will pay if I have to euthanise any of the sheep. The owners did go looking for the dogs when they escaped.”
“Most dog owners are brilliant, it is just the odd few. They think their dogs will be fine but they don’t know how they will react around livestock. I do speak to dog owners and three years ago I was physically assaulted as I tried to get a dog out of the paddock.
“This attack is not an isolated incident on livestock. A farmer I know lost 20 lambs."