Pregnant sheep dead after dog attack on flock near Meonstoke

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Sheep in field with image of harmed sheep inset

A dog attacked a flock of pregnant ewes in near Old Winchester Hill in Meonstoke yesterday leaving at least one sheep dead and others badly injured.

It is thought there will be further fatalities and unborn lambs lost due to the stress of the attack.

The owner of the dog left the scene after its dog had attacked the flock.

The owner of the sheep said: “We are likely to lose several of our ewes and likely many aborted lambs over the coming days due to the severe distress the ewes have been left in.

“There is absolutely no excuse for not having your dog on a lead, any dog will chase a sheep – it’s it’s natural instinct when something darts away.

“The owner should take full responsibility for this, not walk away worried of the outcome for their dog with no care for devastation they left our sheep in, just left to die.”

Police are investiging and anyone with any information should contact them on 101 with refernece number 44240115420.

A second dog attack on pregnant sheep took place in Exton on Saturday. Fortunately tree surgeons working nearby intervened to prevent an injuries to the sheep after a black dog got amongst them, although it is thought likely at least one sheep will miscarry.

Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, it is a criminal offence for a dog to actively worry livestock and dog owners risk prosecution.

Police says they recognise that the majority of dog owners walk their dogs in a responsible manner, but unfortunately there are a small minority whose recklessness puts the welfare of other animals at risk.

Some key points to bear in mind this time of year to help with the welfare of sheep:

  • If you come across a sheep on its back, try to roll it over and raise the alarm with the farmer if this is possible.
  • It is so important to keep dogs either on leads or under close control around livestock.
  • If you are walking your dog in a field and there is no livestock, please keep the dog in sight at all times, be aware of what it is doing, and be confident it will return to you promptly on command. If you cannot be confident of this, the dog should not be off the lead.
  • Ensure the dog does not stray off the path or area where you have right of access.
  • It is a criminal offence for a dog to actively worry livestock. We want owners to be aware that in such instances, the owner or person in control of the dog can be prosecuted, and the dog can by shot by the farmer to end an attack.

Image: Library image of Old Winchester Hill and inset, image of a sheep injured from yesterday’s attack, which survived.

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