Farmer left reeling after loose dog kills 13 sheep

Livestock worrying cost British farmers £1.2 million in 2019
Livestock worrying cost British farmers £1.2 million in 2019

A Northamptonshire farmer has been left 'distraught' after a loose dog killed thirteen of his lambs and injured four more.

The incident is thought to have occurred between Friday night (6 November) and the following morning on farmland in Desborough.

The farmer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told local website NorthantsLive the attack had cost him around £1,200.

Neighbour Daniel Howes said that the affected farmer had asked him to give a hand with loading up the dead sheep.

“We called the vet and he started treating them straightaway, but we had to humanely shoot some of them just to put them out of their misery," Mr Howes said.

“This was a dog that was in the field for a few hours and it could even have been more than one dog.

“I can’t tell you how distraught and upset he was. It was his birthday on Sunday and it completely ruined his day.”

Northamptonshire Police confirmed the incident, and is appealing for more information from the public.

"This happened overnight on November 6 - November 7, when 13 lambs were attacked and killed by an unknown animal, believed to be a large dog. The value of the loss is about £1,200.

"If anyone knows anything, they are encouraged to come forward."

Livestock worrying cost farmers £1.2m last year as irresponsible owners continued to allow dogs to roam free in the countryside.

Despite sharp falls in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, rises in England contributed to the continued high cost of attacks, NFU Mutual said.

“This confirms farmers’ fears that a significant number of dog owners are letting their dogs roam free unsupervised,” said Rebecca Davidson, rural affairs specialist at the rural insurer.

“Whether they don’t know or don’t care about the carnage their pets are causing, these dog owners are giving a bad name to the responsible majority who do keep their pets under control."