Anger after dog attacks sheep

PUBLISHED: 20:06 24 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:49 18 June 2010

AN ANGRY Sidmouth farmer is pleading for dog owners to keep their pets under control after one of his young sheep was mauled and left half dead last week. Peter Hill, of West Dene Farm, found the year old ewe, with its life hanging in the balance, in Gilc

AN ANGRY Sidmouth farmer is pleading for dog owners to keep their pets under control after one of his young sheep was mauled and left half dead last week.

Peter Hill, of West Dene Farm, found the year old ewe, with its life hanging in the balance, in Gilchrists field, near the Byes, after the vicious attack last Friday.

He said: "When I found her she was in the river with her head resting on the bank. "She had seven or eight bites on her back and a nasty wound to her left hind leg. The worst injury was on her throat where her muscles were torn and you could see blood vessels hanging from the wound."

The ewe was first discovered by a dog owner who contacted Mr Hill's vet. Thanks to the "responsible" dog owner and the fast medical attention the ewe received it is now on the road to recovery.

Mr Hill has now moved his sheep out of this field as well as Margaret's Meadow-both owned by the Sid Vale Association- as he fears the same dog could strike again.

He added: "If a dog has a propensity for doing that it's going to do it anywhere.

"The vet showed me the bite marks where the canine teeth had dug into the skin. They were quite a width apart-about five cms- so it must've have been a big dog.

"The owner must have known something had happened as the dog would have blood on its mouth from the sheep's wounds and it could only have got into the field if someone let it in through a gate."

Mr Hill has had problems in the past with owners letting their dogs off the leads and allowing them to chase his sheep despite clear signs warning people to control their dogs.

He said: "The SVA have put up signs at both entrances requesting owners to keep their dogs under control but some people think it is great exercise for their dogs to chase their sheep.

"Owners aren't doing their dogs any favours at all. If the dogs were to chase ewes in lamb and they lost them, the owner would have a huge bill to pay to compensate."

* It is an offence to allow dogs to attack livestock on agricultural land and people can be prosecuted. Farmers also have the right to kill dogs if they are found to be worrying sheep.


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