Four Sussex dogs shot for sheep worrying

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First published in News by , Crime reporter

Four dogs caught attacking sheep in East Sussex have been shot by farmers in the past week.

Two were reportedly shot in Groombridge and a second pair in Hartfield.

According to Sussex Police, two dogs killed a sheep and were seen attacking the rest of the flock in Groombridge on January 6.

At about 3.30am on January 7, the same two dogs reportedly came back and killed a further three sheep.

The farmer subsequently shot and killed the two dogs.

On January 9, two dogs attacked a flock of sheep at a farm in Chuck Hatch, Hartfield. The farmer shot both animals.

One sheep had to be put to sleep and another two suffered life-threatening injuries.

Police also traced the owner of some dogs which were chasing sheep in Ashdown Forest on October 7.

Although no sheep were injured, officers spoke to the owner and warned about keeping the dogs under control.

PC Jennifer Black said dog owners needed to be aware that sheep worrying is an offence and dogs can be shot by |farmers.

She said: “Attacks on sheep are often by dogs who have escaped from their own gardens.

“People need to check their fences and do everything they possibly can to get their dogs back if they do manage to escape.

“Owners do not know what their dogs may be up to when they have escaped.

“Even docile dogs at home are capable of chasing sheep, which may result in a pregnant sheep aborting its lamb or having to be put down as a result of sustained injuries.

“Livestock are a farmer’s livelihood and dead and injured sheep can cause significant financial loss and great upset.

“Please keep your dogs under control at all times.”

Meanwhile a woman is due to be sentenced after admitting four counts of sheep worrying.

Jobless Deborah Taylor, 46, from Friars Gate, Crowborough, has appeared in court charged with four offences of owning a dog which was worrying livestock and will be sentenced on Wednesday, February 5.

Sussex Police said Taylor’s dogs were seen chasing and killing sheep on four occasions in November amd December last year.

As a result of the attacks, six sheep died or had to be put down.

Comments (2)

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3:37pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Richada says...

As a nation of dog lovers, one wonders what we are doing letting our dogs roam, to worry sheep, at 3.30am.

Even when you think a dog is under control, at the sight of a heard of sheep you can be rapidly proved wrong. I witnessed a dog, that I know well, literally snap its lead in order to chase sheep, which had been set running by a dog worryiong them on the outside of the field that we were in. This was broad daylight and the dog returned to command on the whistle, had he been on his own, at night, the outcome would have been entirely different and my support would have to be with the farmer.

Again, irresponsible owners here to blame - not the animals they claim to love.
As a nation of dog lovers, one wonders what we are doing letting our dogs roam, to worry sheep, at 3.30am. Even when you think a dog is under control, at the sight of a heard of sheep you can be rapidly proved wrong. I witnessed a dog, that I know well, literally snap its lead in order to chase sheep, which had been set running by a dog worryiong them on the outside of the field that we were in. This was broad daylight and the dog returned to command on the whistle, had he been on his own, at night, the outcome would have been entirely different and my support would have to be with the farmer. Again, irresponsible owners here to blame - not the animals they claim to love. Richada
  • Score: 6

5:32pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Juleyanne says...

Perhaps the humane answer is for farmers to tranquilize dogs rather than shoot! With the appalling weather we have recently had, fences and gates suffered damage and it is all too easy for even a responsible dog owner to overlook for example a small fence panel which has come adrift. I do urge dog owners to double check all their fencing and gates after the storms but accidents can happen. I do not condone owners of dogs that chase sheep but I am also deeply concerned that some farmers may not adhere to strict laws around the use of firearms and make every effort to avoid such an outcome. In cases where for example a dog snapped it's lead or slipped it's collar despite the owners best efforts and chased without actually attacking sheep, surely the use of firearms would be avoidable. Farmers also need to understand that to lose a pet dog would be devastating for the owner. Unfortunately in some cases livestock to a farmer is little more than profit, yet a dog to it's owner is family. I of course appreciate it is unacceptable for livestock to be harmed in any way and dog owners should take every precaution around farm animals and face heavy fines if they fail in that duty, However unforeseen incidents can occur despite an owners best efforts and I strongly believe tranquilization is the way forward.
Perhaps the humane answer is for farmers to tranquilize dogs rather than shoot! With the appalling weather we have recently had, fences and gates suffered damage and it is all too easy for even a responsible dog owner to overlook for example a small fence panel which has come adrift. I do urge dog owners to double check all their fencing and gates after the storms but accidents can happen. I do not condone owners of dogs that chase sheep but I am also deeply concerned that some farmers may not adhere to strict laws around the use of firearms and make every effort to avoid such an outcome. In cases where for example a dog snapped it's lead or slipped it's collar despite the owners best efforts and chased without actually attacking sheep, surely the use of firearms would be avoidable. Farmers also need to understand that to lose a pet dog would be devastating for the owner. Unfortunately in some cases livestock to a farmer is little more than profit, yet a dog to it's owner is family. I of course appreciate it is unacceptable for livestock to be harmed in any way and dog owners should take every precaution around farm animals and face heavy fines if they fail in that duty, However unforeseen incidents can occur despite an owners best efforts and I strongly believe tranquilization is the way forward. Juleyanne
  • Score: 1

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