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Dogs suspected to be behind sheep attack

WARNING: Some people may find some of the images below upsetting.

Two of Alan Clark's sheep were attacked by dogs last week Credit: ITV News Border
The sheep were left with serious injuries to their heads and necks Credit: ITV News Border
Mr Clark has been asking dog walkers to keep their pets on leads Credit: ITV News Border
Esme from Windermere says she'll always have her dog on a lead now after talking to the farmer Credit: ITV News Border

Farmer urges dog owners to keep pets on leads

A farmer in Bowness on Windermere is urging dog owners to keep their pets on a lead after two of his sheep were attacked.

Alan Clark's pregnant ewes needed stitches after a dog attack last week.

The National Park is considering moving the footpath and creating a fenced-off bridleway - which some locals don't want - because this the third attack in three months.

Farmer's distress over sheep attack

A farmer has spoken to ITV Border over the distress he felt after two of his sheep were attacked.

Alan Clark found two of his pregnant ewes with severe wounds to their heads after being attacked in one of his fields on Glebe Road, Bowness on Windermere.

Police believe the attacks have been by dogs who have been off leads, unattended and allowed to chase sheep in fields.

"I feel they're pretty callous people that can just walk away and leave something suffering and not reporting it to anybody. I think they should have at least done something about it. They might have phoned somebody - even if it was just the RSPCA. They could have done it anonymously. I don't know what else to say about them really - it just makes you... quite upsetting."

– Alan Clark, farmer

NFU calls for community support for farmers

NFU Cumbria County Adviser Mike Sanderson commented on the attacks:

Farmers in the area need to be especially vigilant until the culprit is brought to justice. The rural community works closely with the police through Farm Watch and other schemes and we would urge farmers to report any information they may have to officers. When members of the public are out walking in the countryside, it is important to remember that it is a working environment where animals graze.

– Mike Sanderson, National Farmers Union

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Police warn dog owners

Police are warning dow owners that farmers are entitled to take action against dogs found to be scaring livestock

Walkers in the area need to understand that dogs should be under close control at all times, especially when being walked on farm land near to livestock. Some dog owners will say "my dog will never run off or attack", but they just don't know, if in any doubt put your dog on a lead, better safe than sorry. It is not actually necessary for the dog to bite the sheep to cause enormous stress and suffering. Farmers are entitled to take action if they see dogs chasing or attacking sheep. By maintaining control of your pet, you can prevent a distressing incident from happening."

– PC Jim Bell, Cumbria Police