RISBURY, HEREFORDSHIRE ENGLAND - 2 BULLMASTIFF DOGS WENT ON A KILLING SPREE AND ALMOST WIPED OUT YOUNG BREEDER TOM HADLEY'S FLOCK - 37 DEAD SO FAR!
A total of 37 sheep have been killed in a horrific attack in a field near Risbury, Herefordshire.
Young breeder Tom Hadley said the attack had 'thrown three years of sheep breeding down the drain'.
Mr Hadley, 23, told Farmers Guardian he was an hour away from his flock when he received a phone call from his neighbour informing him of two dogs attacking his sheep.
By the time Mr Hadley arrived home an hour later, he found 26 dead sheep in his flock, with both dogs 'chewing up a sheep'.
"There were 56 weaned lambs in the field, and we found 26 dead animals there on Friday, with at least three dying every day since from their injuries or from shock," explained Mr Hadley.
Since the attack on Friday (September 2), 11 more sheep have died from their injuries, with eight remaining injured and in shock, and a further 10 or 11 completely missing.
Mr Hadley shot one dog, believed to be a BULLMASTIFF breed, which quickly ran off only to be seized by police later that evening. The other dog was seized by police on Saturday (September 3).Mr Hadley said: "I called the police when I was on my way home, and when they arrived at the scene, they were afraid for human life because of how vicious the dogs were.
"Myself and my friends were sent away from the field while the police tried to capture the dogs. It was about 9pm before we were allowed back into the field to assess the damage."
With a school only a few miles down the road, Mr Hadley said he couldn't help but wonder what would happen if the dogs were in a playground full of young children.
He said: "Sheep skulls are developed to be able to hit against each other, children's are not. These dogs were completely out of control - anything could have happened."
A 64-year-old man has was arrested on suspicion of being the owner or person in charge of a dog which is dangerously out of control, and has been released on police bail until October 16, 2016.
Inspector Daniel Pilkington of West Mercia Police said: "We would like to remind the public that it’s an offence for a dog owner and anyone controlling the dog to allow it to worry livestock on agricultural land."If this happens, individuals may be prosecuted or fined and ordered to pay compensation.
"We would like to advise the farming community that we take any reports of this nature very seriously.
"Under the Animals Act 1971 a farmer, landowner or anyone acting on their behalf has a legal right to shoot your dog to protect their property.
"We would like to remind dog owners to please keep their dog on a lead at all times but particularly where there is livestock in the area."
Police are appealing to anyone who may have any information leading up the circumstances involving the incident, please call West Mercia Police on 101, quoting incident 520s of September 2, 2016.