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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Pregnant ewe put down after dog attack

A MUTILATED pregnant ewe has had to be put down after distressing incidents of dog worrying this week.

Two ewes were attacked at St Bees on Monday and a dog was also seen chasing sheep at a field near Clints Brow, Egremont, on Tuesday.

Police urge dog owners to act responsibly or face being prosecuted.

Farmer Ken Hooks, of Low Walton Farm, found two of his ewes had been attacked on the face early on Monday. One of the ewes, which was in-lamb, had lost a lot of blood and was subsequently put down.

“I have owners say to me that their dogs are trained,’’ Mr Hooks said. “But I will still urge them to put them on a lead whenever sheep are around.

“The owner couldn’t have failed to notice what the dog was doing, ’’ he added.

This is the second time the farmer has seen his livestock hit by dog worrying. In 2006, 14 of his lambs were slaughtered on Easter Sunday by a lurcher rampaging around St Bees.

A police spokesperson said: “We take incidents of sheep worrying seriously. Officers attended both incidents and are paying passing attention to the area.

“We would appeal to dog owners to act responsibly and not allow their animals to run around in farmers’ fields and chase sheep or other livestock. It causes a great deal of distress.

“Anyone who is believed to have allowed their dogs to worry sheep can find themselves being prosecuted.

“If anyone has any information about these incidents they are encouraged to contact Copeland police by dialling 101.”

The worrying of livestock by dogs is a year-round concern, but it is between March and July, the birthing season, that ewes and cows are especially vulnerable as a frightened animal might abort or abandon its young.

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