Warning following attacks on Colne sheep

RAISING AWARENESS: Ellie Phipps with one of her own Suffolk lambs (S)
RAISING AWARENESS: Ellie Phipps with one of her own Suffolk lambs (S)
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A farm worker is calling out for responsible dog ownership after two attacks on sheep in the space of a week.

One sheep was left dead and others were injured following the incidents behind Park High School between Sunday and Wednesday last week.

Now Ellie Phipps (21), right, is appealing to residents to keep their pets on leads and to stop their dogs from leaving the house or garden unattended.

Over the past six years, the Liverpool University student has seen sheep killed, others left with brain damage, and some left with severe injuries as a result of mauling.

Miss Phipps, who lives in Foulridge and who used to attend Colne Park High School, said: “We usually end up with about two or three a year who are attacked.

“In a lot of cases, the lambs are getting away, but the sheep will put up more of a stand.

“I would say to people make sure your dog is on a lead at all times, as you never know what your dog is going to do.

“Even if it is that well trained that it won’t leave your side, all it takes is for one sheep to spook and the dog could be off. It is a hunting instinct,

“It is not just the fact the sheep have been killed. It is also money down the drain, especially if they die.”

Many of the sheep, who are owned by E & J Haythornthwaite, are now recovering well.

According to Miss Phipps, Stanley House Veterinary Surgery have been “brilliant”, supporting her when she decided to post a picture of one of the injured sheep onto Facebook.

The former Nelson and Colne College student added: “I have always been too scared to put gory images onto Facebook, but it did work.

“It has been shared about 150 times, and has been seen by tens of thousands of people.”

In a statement on Facebook, Stanley House Veterinary Surgery said: “Please keep your dog on a lead when crossing farmland and please don’t let them wander off on their own or escape from your garden.

“If you do see a dog attacking sheep and don’t know who the sheep belong to ring the police. It is classed as an emergency and you should call 999.”