Sheep grazing on land in Horsted Keynes have been savaged and chased by dogs - for the THIRD time within weeks.
The attacks have left landowner Julia Wykeham-Martin shocked and have prompted a new plea from farmers to pet owners to keep their dogs on leads.
The first attack on Julia’s land happened last month when five sheep were left badly injured. The attack was caught on video which showed a dog “picking the sheep up and shaking it like a rat,” said Julia.
Two further attacks happened last week when one sheep was injured and others fled in panic.
She said during the attacks last week, one had been “badly bitten on the throat and five sheep were chased completely out of the field.”
She said they were all later found and added: “Three dogs were involved in the second attack, charging at the sheep which were already huddled together in the field in fear after the first attack. This is an animal welfare issue problem, when sheep are attacked by loose dogs, and they suffer terribly.”
The sheep belong to farmer Frank Langrish who said: “Dog attacks are a perennial problem for sheep farmers – this is the third serious instance in Horsted Keynes and the fifth for me this winter – we’ve never had so many dog attacks in such a short space of time.
“Dog owners need to be aware that they could face prosecution and the NFU continues to urge police to treat dog attacks seriously.”
NFU South East livestock board chairman Steve Conisbee said: “Pregnant ewes can abort their lambs if chased and sheep that have been bitten by dogs can die slow, painful deaths.
“All dogs, no matter how well behaved, have a chase instinct and they can turn wolf, inflicting the most terrible injuries on farm animals.”
He added that such attacks could end in tragedy for both farmers and dog owners whose pets can legally be shot by a farmer if they’re chasing sheep or cattle.