Farmer describes “heartbreak” after finding one of his young sheep attacked by dog
- Credit: Hannah Wait
A Norfolk farmer has spoken of his 'heartbreak' having found one of his young female sheep viciously attacked by a dog.
Luckily the ewe was rushed to the vet and is in a stable condition, but owner Will de Feyter says 10 of his sheep have been lost to animal attacks in the last four years.
Mr de Feyter was called to his field in North Walsham between Spa Common and Ebridge Mill last night, to reports of a dog seen attacking the animals.
'It's not the dog's fault, it's the owners,' said Mr de Feyter, who is 25.
'There are signs all along the side of the canal walk asking for dogs to be put on leads, put people think it's their God given right to walk their dogs off-lead.'
Mr de Feyter continued: 'I wouldn't even walk my own dog off-lead along that stretch. You can say they're as well behaved and trained as you like, but when they're with you it's one thing, but when they're away by themselves it's another.
'There's ditches and a fence between the canal path and the sheep, but dogs can still swim that and get through the fence, and they do.'
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He continued: 'It's not a big ask to put your dog on the lead for that short stretch just past the sheep. Afterwards we always hear the same excuses, that owners never thought their pet would do that, and that they're so well behaved.'
This time, the owner of the dog came forward and will pay the vets bill for the injured sheep.
'Some people get very unpleasant about it,' said Mr de Feyter, who also owns pigs and some arable land. 'A lady confronted a man last year about his dog being in the field and attacking a sheep, and he got quite angry with her. By the time I'd got there he'd left.'
Mr de Feyter continued: 'It's heartbreaking to see. Luckily this one got stitched up and I'm hopeful we'll make a full recovery, she'd feeling very sorry for herself though.
'Other times we haven't been so lucky, a few years ago we had two or three killed in one night. You could see they'd been attacked and shoved into fences.'