DOG-WALKERS are being warned to keep their pets under control following a spate of attacks on sheep.
Six Hebridean sheep have been mauled to death by dogs in North Chailey, near Lewes, in recent months.
And last week a farmer shot a dog dead after he claims the animal attacked his livestock.
Peter Stuart’s eight-year-old Hungarian Vizsla dog Django was shot by farmer Martin Carr at Balsdean Farm, in Rottingdean, on Friday.
Mr Stuart, 55, who lives in central Brighton, said he thought Mr Carr should not have killed Django.
Mr Carr said the dog was attacking his sheep and many of the ewes were pregnant.
He now fears new-born lambs could have birth defects.
Sussex Police were called, but neither party has been arrested, although they were spoken to.
Mr Stuart said he was with Django and a second dog, one-year-old Flynn, when a crowscarer sounded and led to the older dog running off.
He said: “He was scared of loud noises.
“We searched for him but he ran off and we could not find him.
“The next day we were called and told our dog had been shot.
“He was probably looking for help when he was shot – he was very friendly and sensitive.”
Mr Carr, who accepted he shot the dog, claimed some-one had untied the gate to his farm.
He said: “Your dog may be the friendliest dog in the world, but sheep don’t know that.
“They’re going to run, because they are prey. That is why it’s so important to keep dogs on a lead, for the safety of the sheep.
“When a sheep sees a dog, it sees a predator.”
Several Hebridean sheep have also been killed by dogs in North Chailey, near Lewes, in recent months – the latest just a few days before Christmas.
Grazier Kevin Uridge, of Townings Farm, Plumpton Road, says each animal costs about £80.
The sheep were introduced in October to graze on invasive plants as part of a project to protect heathland.
He said: “Walkers don’t realise the capability of their dogs.
“It’s sad and depressing that these sheep have died.”
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “We remind all dog owners of the importance of keeping their pets under proper control.”