Calls have been made for dog owners to keep control of their pets after a number of sheep were mauled this week and one had to be put down.
The attack happened in Foston in a paddock off Long Street, where nine sheep were being kept. One died as a result of the attack and three more were injured.
The attack is believed to have happened early Tuesday morning. The sheep, some of which were only born earlier this year, were being looked after by John Munro for a friend who has been away on holiday. The surviving sheep have been moved back to the owner’s field.
In the attack, one of the sheep had an ear ripped off and another suffered a shoulder wound while two others suffered minor wounds. The sheep that was put down suffered serious wounds to its neck.
Mr Munro, who attended a meeting of Foston Parish Council this week to highlight the problem, said: “I am pretty annoyed. I have seen this coming because we have so many dogs in the village, many of which are not kept under control.
“I have seen people let their dogs off the lead outside the house while they are on their mobile phones and they don’t have a clue what their dogs are doing. The sheep are traumatised.
“We have lived here for 15 years and in that time, for some, reason, the dog population here has shot up.”
Neighbour Tony Scrimshaw went to help Mr Munro after the attack. He said the scene was “carnage”.
Mr Scrimshaw said: “We had to put one sheep down. It was very badly damaged and it could not stand up. It had lost a reasonable amount of blood.”
He said there was a problem in the area with dogs being allowed to run loose and this incident was all the more serious because a dog had got into a paddock where there was no footpath or right of way.
Mr Scrimshaw added: “I think itmust have been carnage. This did not happen in two minutes. It must have gone on for quite a bit of time.”
Foston parish councillor Christina Lees said: “This is a serious issue allowing dogs to roam free in a field of sheep and clearly illustrates what can happen if the rules are not heeded. Dogs should be under control at all times near stock and stock keepers have the right to shoot any animal worrying sheep. We would be grateful if anybody would come forward if they had seen the attack.”
The countryside code says owners should keep dogs on a lead if they cannot rely on their obedience and they should take care not to let their dogs scare sheep or lambs or wander where there might be birds nesting on the ground.
Find out more at www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk or if you have a specific query email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 100 3298.