Sheep deaths anger farmers

DOZENS of sheep were killed and mutilated after two dogs went on a midnight rampage through fields at Pett.

The incident, which happened last Wednesday, caused shock in the local farming community and has had a devastating affect on two local farmers.

Tim Jury of Cherry Orchard Farm, lost 19 sheep in the attack, which was thought to involve two Alsatian dogs. Some were ewes in lamb. A further 32 suffered bad injuries.

He said: “This has caused deep shock. It is traumatic seeing healthy animals in the field one day, then seeing them decimated the next It is terrible when sheep have to be destroyed.”

Andrew Dunlop, of Lunsford Farm, Pett, lost two sheep which suffered horrific injuries, and had a further 16 animals injured.

He said: “We have had incidents of dogs attacking sheep before but this is the worst I can remember. It was a ferocious attack and they left a trail of carnage.

“The whole community is deeply shocked that this could happen. Many of the sheep were injured after being driven through fences and hedges across two fields. It would have been incredibly distressing for them.”

Both farmers have spent almost a week trying to deal with the situation.

Mr Dunlop said: “It took the best part of day just locate missing sheep. This happened almost a week ago and I have not been able to do a lot of other farmwork due to sorting it out.

“These are animals you care for from when they are born and feed and give medical attention to and it is all wiped out in a stroke.

“I have been surprised by the anger and support expressed by people in the village.”

The dogs are thought to have escaped from the Pett and Fairlight area while their owners were away.

Both farmers called for dog owners to take more responsibility for their animals. Mr Dunlop said: “Dogs should be kept under close control anywhere near livestock.

“The majority of owners are extremely responsible, it is just a few that create a bad name.”

Tim Jury said: “In general terms this in an increasing problem.

“I believe that even responsible owners do not realise how easy it is for a dog to get away from them. Dogs and livestock just do not mix.”

Below: Andrew Dunlop checks on his sheep at at Lunsford Farm, Pett.

Above: Two of the sheep found dead after the dog attacks.