Sheep farm ‘massacre’ in frenzied dog attack

Devastated....farmer Keith Holman of Burton Overy with some of his surviving flock of white faced texel sheep after the dog attack.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Devastated....farmer Keith Holman of Burton Overy with some of his surviving flock of white faced texel sheep after the dog attack. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
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Seven sheep were killed and dozens were injured, when two big dogs attacked flocks in the Harborough area.

A distraught local farmer said “it was like a massacre” and urged dog owners to keep their pets under control.

The worst attack happened at Keith and Rose Holman’s 97-acre Manor House Farm in Burton Overy, north of Market Harborough, last Friday (February 10).

“It was the most unpleasant thing we’ve ever had to deal with” Rose Holman told the Mail.

“It was like a massacre. Our sheep were scattered over four different fields - some dead, some dying, many with bite marks and severe facial injuries. We’re just waiting now for a vet to euthanise another of our sheep.”

The two dogs - a Husky and an Alsatian - then ran on to a second farm - Manor Farm at Carlton Curlieu, about a mile away, and attacked sheep belonging to Nick Jones.

“My sheep were in the yard, and the dogs got in amongst them” said Mr Jones.

“Fortunately there was someone on the scene who managed to got hold of the dogs and put them in a trailer.

“My sheep are covered in scars, but none of my sheep were killed. The dogs were on the rampage though, in a sort of frenzy.”

The dogs were returned to their owner.

Both farmers say they won’t know the full cost of the attack until later.

They expect more of their ewes to lose their lambs as a result of the attack.

Mrs Holman said: “The majority of dog owners in the area are very responsible. But dogs must be kept secure at home and be on leads when animals are about.”

New figures show the cost of dog attacks on livestock reported to just one rural insurer, NFU Mutual, rose by nearly 50 per cent across the UK in 2016, to £232,000.

The owner of a dog that is dangerously out of control commits an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991,

The sentence can be up to two years imprisonment and destruction of the dog.