‘Appalling’ dog attack kills two sheep and injures 20 on Essex farm

Dog walkers have been warned to keep their pets on a lead near livestock, after an attack on an Esse

Dog walkers have been warned to keep their pets on a lead near livestock, after an attack on an Essex sheep flock left two animals dead and another 20 seriously injured. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

An “appalling” dog attack which left two sheep dead and another 20 seriously injured on an Essex farm has sparked renewed warnings for dogs to be kept on leads near livestock.

Dog walkers have been warned to keep their pets on a lead near livestock, after an attack on an Esse

Dog walkers have been warned to keep their pets on a lead near livestock, after an attack on an Essex sheep flock left two animals dead and another 20 seriously injured. Picture: NFU - Credit: NFU

Police are investigating the attack on a sheep flock at Great Baddow near Chelmsford, which is believed to have happened between the evening of Sunday April 5 and the morning of Monday April 6.

The aftermath was discovered by the farmer, who does not want to be named, when he went to check on his animals with his two young daughters.

One sheep was already dead and another had to be put down because of the severity of its injuries.

A team from Westpoint Farm Vets was called to help the injured animals. One of the vets, Ami Sawran, described it as “the most prolific dog attack on sheep” she had ever seen.


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“Loose dogs, insecure yards and ignorance don’t just kill and injure sheep,” she said. “In times like this, it puts people at risk too. We are all working hard to safeguard human and animal health and the issue is compounded by completely avoidable attacks.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: “We are investigating an incident after a number of sheep were injured on West Hanningfield Road, Great Baddow, following a suspected attack by a dog.

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“We need anyone who has any information about the incident to call us on 101 quoting crime reference number 42/51086/20.”

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said the attack, which happened more than half a mile from the nearest public right of way, underlined the importance of keeping dogs on leads near livestock.

NFU Essex county adviser Jake Richards said: “The farmer, his family and the vets who attended are all distressed by this appalling incident. Some of the sheep had to have tails and ears amputated because their injuries were so severe.

“The message is clear – your dog can harm livestock so please keep it on lead when you are near sheep and cattle.

“Even the most docile of pets can cause serious injury and death if they are not walked responsibly, particularly if that dog is not familiar with livestock.”

The NFU has worked with the Kennel Club to provide advice to dog walkers and has produced signs to put up alongside countryside footpaths. For more information see the NFU’s Countryside website.

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