Dog owners have been urged to keep their animals under control after 26 sheep were killed in an ‘appalling incident’ on a farm near Market Rasen.
The sheep died following what is believed to be a dog attack at a farm near Osgodby last Thursday evening.
The sheep who have been left alive are very distressed
The owner of the sheep has described the incident as ‘devastating.’
Lincolnshire Police told the Mail the sheep ‘ended up in a water filled ditch’ and ‘had drowned or suffocated’.
They added there was no evidence to suggest it was a criminal act but appealed for the public to come forward if their dogs had been missing on Thursday night and had returned in a ‘dirty state’.
The owner of the sheep, who did not want to be named, told the Mail that he believed the deaths were caused by several loose dogs whose ‘instincts had taken over’.
He said: “You see incidents like this every week in the countryside.
“I just don’t know what the solution is but it is devastating when it happens.
“The sheep who have been left alive are very distressed.
“Any sort of dog attack is devastating for both livestock and owners but the animals cannot stand the stress.
“Our sheep are very lethargic and mesmerised.
“It has made it impossible to move them from the fields where the attack happened.
“Of course there will also be fencing damage costs to cover but that is no issue compared to the welfare of the sheep.
“We have had the vet out to them and are trying to help them in the easiest and most humane way possible.”
Andrew Wilson, County Advisor for the NFU, said: “The appalling case of the sheep found dead in a ditch near Osgodby is an all too frequent horror for the farming community in Lincolnshire.
“Although we don’t know exactly what happened in this case, the death of the sheep illustrates how dangerous it is to let a dog or dogs loose near livestock.
“Please keep to marked footpaths, look to see if animals are ahead in a field and if they are, put your dog on a lead.
“That way, everyone will be safe, livestock will be left unharmed and everyone can enjoy a walk in the countryside.”