There are calls for caution in the Middle Rasen area after two sheep were targeted in a suspected dog attack.
Alex Johnston works as a contractor who grazes sheep for a living and stumbled upon a nasty discovery when checking sheep fields near Middle Rasen.
Mr Johnston said: “The fields are between Mill Lane and Green Lane at Middle Rasen.
“The first attack happened on Monday, January 27.
“The following morning we got to the field and there were just sheep everywhere.
“You see one sheep with blood on it and it doesn’t take a genius to work out what has happened.
“There were 422 sheep in all so they all had a good chase around.
“One sheep is still alive and receiving treatment after it was bitten in the first attack.”
Mr Johnston says that there was a second attack over the weekend of February 1.
He said: “A sheep was bitten in the second attack and that one didn’t survive.”
Mr Johnston says that local residents have queried whether it was definitely a dog which attacked the sheep.
He explained: “People have conspiracies about foxes, badgers and all the rest of it - it just doesn’t happen, it is dogs.
“These lambs are 30-40 kilos, there is nothing else that would take them down other than a dog.
“What I reckon has happened is that somebody’s dog has got into the field and chased all these sheep around.
“The electric fences are powered to 9000 volts.
“The sheep don’t walk through them themselves unless there is a real panic.
“The lamb that died was one of the smaller ones.
“At that point, the owner of the dog has probably managed to catch the dog and pull it away.
“People need to understand that their dogs are predators.
“The dog might behave well inside their house, but if you open a dogs mouth there are a load of sharp teeth inside designed for tearing flesh.
“The main thing is that whoever’s dog is doing this, the owner must be aware of it.
“The dog will be coming home covered in blood.
“The owner may well have seen the dog chasing the sheep, they may well have had to physically pull their dog off the sheep that it attacked.
“Whoever is responsible for that dog hasn’t said anything to anyone.
“They have left that animal suffering for an unknown period of time until we arrive the next day and find the injured sheep.”
• If anyone has any information call Mr Johnston on 07842 071126
In a Facebook post on the Rasen Chat group after the second attack, Mr Johnston said: “Fences on three sides of the field have been destroyed by panicked sheep running through them.”
The Rasen Mail contacted the National Farmer’s Union (NFU) for a comment.
An NFU spokesman said: “The police have powers to detain a dog suspected of worrying livestock if there is no owner present, and can also obtain a warrant to enter premises in order to identify a dog.
“A dog owner can be fined a maximum of £1,000 for allowing their dog to worry livestock, and a court could order the dog to be destroyed.
“Farmers whose livestock are killed or injured as a result of dog worrying can sue the owner for compensation under the Animal Act 1971.”
The NFU also provided some tips on what to do when you walk your dog in the countryside including:
•Always keep your dog on a lead near sheep
• Be aware even small lap dogs can attack and kill farm animals
• Please report dog attacks, or roaming dogs, to the farmer or the police
• Don’t let dogs loose in gardens near fields with farm animals in.
A spokesman from Lincolnshire Police said: “We received a report of an injured sheep in a field in Middle Rasen.
“It was reported that between 5pm and 9.45am the next day, on January 28, it is suspected that a dog entered the field and frightened the sheep.
“One sheep ran into the electric fence causing an injury.
“Incident 319 of January 28 refers.”