A farmer has warned dog owners he is prepared to shoot the next dog which poses a threat to his flock of sheep.
Tim White owns around 1,000 sheep, and has said he is fed up of having to put his own animals down after they have been attacked by loose dogs.
The Wiltshire farmer's threat to dog walkers who let their animals loose near his sheep comes after an attack on 300 of his sheep, on December 28.
Mr White, who lives in Maiden Bradley with his wife and also breeds sheep in Pewsey and Market Lavington, said to the Wiltshire Times: “Last year I lost around £5,000 as a result of dog attacks.
“The dog may only catch one sheep but the damage goes far beyond that; the pregnant ewes become stressed after the attack which means their unborn babies have to be aborted.
“On top of that I have to call out a vet which adds to the expense, and of course it’s very sad for the poor sheep to get torn up. One attack can have really damaging consequences.
“Most dog walkers are quite good and will keep their dog on a lead, but you get the odd one who doesn’t care and lets them run around, not thinking about the consequences.”
The farmer, who has been involved in breeding wool shedding sheep for more than 20 years, is now willing to deal with dogs ‘severely’.
Sheep worrying by dogs is a serious animal welfare concern, which causes a deal of emotional stress and financial cost to sheep farmers around the country every year.