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Warning for farmers after sheep attack
10:00am Thursday 31st January 2013 in News
FARMERS are being urged to be vigilant after sheep were killed in a series of alleged dog attacks.
Seven of Richard Burrow’s flock were savaged as they grazed on land at Top Farm Buildings, Hidcote Boyce, near Mickleton, between Friday and Monday, while John Pickering witnessed three loose dogs grab hold of his beloved pet sheep Molly on his land in Middle Littleton, near Evesham, on Monday.
Mr Pickering said Molly was not hurt in the attack, but he was forced to fire his gun into the air to scare the dogs away.
The 73-year-old said: “They would’ve killed my sheep within 10 minutes if I hadn’t stopped them.
They were huge dogs.
People should be on their guard. I’ve never known anything like this before.”
Mr Burrow, of Mickleton, who has farmed at Hidcote Boyce for 15 years, said: “I’ve seen lambs killed by foxes and badgers, but the size of the teeth marks makes me think it was dogs and probably more than one dog. I’d urge other farmers to keep an eye out and be vigilant.”
NFU spokesman Ian Johnson said sheep worrying was a perennial problem for farmers.
“It happens all too regularly.
People don’t understand the natural behaviour of dogs, which is usually to chase anything that runs. If a dog is caught in the commission of the act of livestock worrying, the farmer would be within their rights to shoot it.”
Gloucesteshire Police have confirmed there will be signs placed throughout the county from March reminding dog owners to keep their pets on leads during peak lambing season.
Rural and environmental crime officer for the county, PC Jon Palfrey, said: “Whilst pet dogs are usually harmless and obedient, their natural instinct is to chase other animals so owners need to take precautions when walking their pet through farmland.
“Dog owners have a responsibility to keep their pet under control.”