Warning: Story contains graphic images
A farmer has shared harrowing photographs of a sheep severely injured in a dog attack in the hope of convincing dog owners to be more responsible around livestock.
The ewe was bitten on the face and legs as she tried to protect her lamb at a farm on the outskirts of Dundee.
Farmer Alistair Hodnett saw a dog run from the field as he raced to save his flock.
“Obviously the dog had managed to single her out and get her in the corner,” he said.
“The amount of blood on that sheep, on the gate, on me by the time we’d got her in. Somebody’s dog has gone home covered in blood, someone knows.”
Mr Hodnett took a series of photographs of the sheep to show how devastating a dog attack can be.
“It’s pretty horrific, She’s had stitches to both sides of her face, both front legs needed several lots of stitching, one of her back legs was ripped open as well,” he explained.
“People need to see the pictures of that sheep and understand the damage a dog can do.
“I’m still not sure if she’s going to make it and the lamb’s struggling because she’s not milking because of the stress of it all.”
The attack happened at around 7:30am on Saturday at Balmydown Farm at Strathmartine, on the outskirts of Dundee.
Last month, 20 lambs died in a dog attack near Kelty in Fife.
On Monday, police said a man has been charged after a dog chased a flock of 93 in-lamb ewes near Auchterarder in Perthshire in March.
“Having dogs loose in the countryside is unacceptable if there’s livestock,” said Alistair.
“I get people with their dogs loose, I ask them nicely to put them on a lead, eight times out of ten they do, the other two I get abusive conversation. ‘I’ll do what I want,’ well, you can’t do what you want.
“It’s got to stop. People have got to take responsibility. You can’t blame the dog – it’s the person that’s out here with that dog running loose.
“I don’t know where that dog came from but it should not have been loose in my field of sheep.”
The penalties for livestock worrying have been increased, with fines of up to £40,000, or 12 months in prison, in extreme cases.
Farmers are also legally allowed to shoot dogs they find attacking their animals.
Police Scotland are making inquiries into the incident at Balmydown Farm.
A force spokesperson said: “At around 7.30 am on Saturday, April 29, a sheep was found in a field at Balmydown Farm, Strathmartine, with significant injuries consistent with being attacked by another animal.
“It has been reported that about this time, a dark-coloured dog was seen running through the field away from the sheep towards the perimeter fence.
“We would ask anyone who has information about the incident or who may know the dog or its owner to contact police.
“Information can be passed to officers via 101. Please quote reference number 1575 of Saturday, April 29, when calling. Alternatively, details can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
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