Shepherds' warning after pregnant sheep 'horrifically mauled' by dogs

Shepherds at a Horsted Keynes farm whose sheep were 'horrifically mauled' by dogs say other sheep in the area are at risk of being attacked until the dogs are found.

Thirty-two pregnant ewes were attacked by dogs at Hillsdown Farm in Birch Grove on Sunday, January 13.

Shepherds Gala Bailey-Barker and Rose Bramwell. Photo by Steve Robards

Shepherds Gala Bailey-Barker and Rose Bramwell. Photo by Steve Robards

All of them suffered serious injuries but 15 were so horrifically mauled they had to be put down.

Police are investigating the attack and said it was the second such incident in the area in recent weeks.

Read our story here: Dozens of pregnant sheep ‘horrifically mauled’ by dogs at Horsted Keynes farm

This week, shepherds Gala Bailey-Barker and Rose Bramwell, have spoken out following the attack.

Gala Bailey-Barker and Rose Bramwell. Photo by Steve Robards

Gala Bailey-Barker and Rose Bramwell. Photo by Steve Robards

They said: "Our ewes are on the mend. We are now confident that the 16 injured are going to make a full recovery.

"They had their last antibiotics and painkillers at the end of last week and we'll be taking their stitches out at the end of this week.

"They are in the closest field on the main farm so we can keep an eye on them over the coming weeks.

"We are working with the police, the RSPCA and Ashdown Forest Centre Rangers to find those responsible for the attack.

"We remain hopeful they will be found. Until they are found the risk to sheep and deer in the area is very high.

"There has been a few sightings around the area. and a few sightings of them killing and eating deer, so we are still on the search for them, but the police have taken DNA, so hopefully we are at the beginning of narrowing down the field and we might be able to find them, because there is still a risk for everyone who has got sheep around."

Gala and Rose said they have been 'overwhelmed' by support and kind words from the community. "People are asking what they can do to help," they said, adding: "Raising awareness is helpful. There has been a 67 per cent increase in dog attacks in the last two years. There is a lot of information about what dog owners can do to prevent sheep worrying here: https://www.nationalsheep.org.uk/dog-owners/sheep-worrying."

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