Foulridge farmer’s plea after horror attack on lambs

Hobb Stones farmer, Ken Dixon, calls for dogs to be kept on a lead following the mauling of lambs on his Foulridge farm.
Hobb Stones farmer, Ken Dixon, calls for dogs to be kept on a lead following the mauling of lambs on his Foulridge farm.

A disgusted Foulridge farmer is urging dog owners to keep their pets on leads around livestock after his twin lambs had their faces ‘ripped off’.

Ken Dickinson, of Smithy Lane, made the shocking discovery at his farm on Sunday morning, shortly before 8-50am.

One lamb was already dead, while the other two-week-old was trying to feed off its mother. It later had to be shot.

While it has not been confirmed, the injuries were so severe that Mr Dickinson believes the vicious attack must have been carried out by a lurcher.

According to the farmer, dog attacks on livestock is a national issue that is a financial and emotional drain. This year it has proven to be particularly hard-hitting, since the freak weather during lambing season.

Mr Dickinson (62) said: “One lamb’s face was completely ripped off, and it was walking around trying to feed off its mother. The other was found in the river. I don’t think there is any doubt that it was a dog.

“We have had horrendous weather, we have been battling all the elements. Somebody doing this is beyond a joke.The problem is that nowadays dog owners don’t have to keep their dog on a lead, by law, if it is under control. But what is under control and what’s not?

“On agricultural land it should be on a lead, end of story.”

And a concerned neighbour added: “It is disgusting. Dogs should be on leads when livestock is in the field.

“A photo was put on Facebook and a comment from one person said that if it was a normal dog then it would have gone for the legs, but the way they were attacked suggests it was a trained, fighting dog.

“Next time, it could be a child. If the dog is going straight for the face, it doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Many local residents took to social networking sites following the mauling, to express their fears. It was also noted that a pet cat, about 100 yards away from Mr Dickinson’s farm, also had to be put down recently following an attack.

One Facebook user said: “This is absolutely terrible, I will most certainly keep my eyes peeled!”

And another said: “People need to respect farm land and the animals who live there, please ensure your dog is under control and kept on a lead in fields where livetock is grazing.”

Police are asking for witnesses who may have seen any suspicious activitity around the time of the incident to step forward. Enquiries are ongoing, and the neighbourhood policing team have been put in touch with Mr Dickinson.

A spokesman said: “We sympathise with Mr Dickinson and we will do what we can to help.”

Contact the police on 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.