16 sheep killed and 30 injured after being mauled by dogs
- Credit: Archant
More than a dozen sheep have been killed in a dog attack in East Bergholt, with 30 others needing to be put down as a result of their injuries.
The sheep were found mauled by dogs in Whitehorse Marsh, at the bottom of Dazeley’s Lane on the outskirts of the village, yesterday morning.
16 of the sheep died in the vicious attack - which saw many of their ears chewed off - with the rest suffering severe injuries.
Rupert Eley, the landowner, discovered what he described as "carnage" yesterday morning, and said it was devastating to see the sheep in this way.
He had to pull three out of the river, after they presumably ran into the water to try to escape the dogs.
"It was awful," said Mr Eley. "It's been happening a lot around here and it's disgusting. In my opinion it's the same two dogs."
Suffolk police attended the scene and have asked anyone with information to come forward.
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A spokesman said: "Police received a report of a number of sheep killed or badly injured in the East Bergholt area on agricultural land where livestock grazes in the Dazeley's Lane area.
"The incident took place at some point between Sunday, December 20 at 4pm and Monday, December 21 at 8am. Around 16 were found dead and around 30 others will need to be put down as a consequence of their injuries.
"It is suspected that this has been done by dogs."
Sgt Brian Calver from the Rural And Wildlife Crime Team said: "This is by far the worst case of an attack of sheep I have come across. The suffering the animals must have gone through would have been terrible.
"Dog ownership is a responsible thing so please remember, dogs that are allowed to worry livestock on agricultural land is an offence under the Dogs Worrying Livestock Act. Anyone who saw the dogs that were responsible or can describe them please get in touch with us.”
The field is an important breeding site for wading birds - such as Redshanks - and Mr Eley is concerned about how the killing will affect the birdlife.
"This is environmentally catastrophic," said the landowner.
"The sheep help keep the grass short for the wading birds, so now we will not be able to accommodate the breeding waders.
"Something has got to be done as these sheep are hugely crucial and are on the field for an important reason.
"These dogs and their owners need to be brought to justice."
Anyone with information as to who was responsible or who saw dogs off leads in the area at the time should contact Suffolk police, quoting crime reference 37/73715/20.