Bath farmer warns of danger to sheep after gruesome dog attack

Tom wants to get the message out about the importance of controlling dogs around livestock

WARNING: This article contains content some may find distressing.

A farmer from Norton st Philip has warned of a danger to animals after one of his sheep was mauled by a dog.

Tom Wheeler found his sheep dead on Wellow Lane near Bath yesterday afternoon (26 May) after receiving a phone call from a concerned neighbour telling him the herd was loose.

"At about 4.50pm he phoned again saying there was a sheep in the lane dead and bleeding. I quickly shot down there - I'm just two minutes away.

"There was a sheep in the lane absolutely mauled on his rump. Either side of the tail had just been, on both sides, chewed down to the bone and there was blood everywhere.

"There is bits of flesh and wool all over the fence and the wall - it was still warm and hadn't gone stiff yet," he said.

The sheep had escaped and run onto the country lane where it was found dead.

When asked what had happened, Tom said he assumed "a dog had chased the sheep, the sheep had got stuck in the fence and then the dog chewed it there.

"Somehow it got itself over the fence but then fell down a 4ft drop and then died on the lane. It had a poo on the road and that was probably the last thing it did.

"There was no other marks on it so it died of shock."

Tom is using the incident to raise awareness of the issue of dog attacks on farm animals.

Tom has around 2000 sheep on his farm near Bath.

He especially wants to get the message out about the importance of controlling pet dogs around livestock.

"We've seen this happen before but never quite this bad," he said.

He is considering moving his sheep to a field that will slow their growing progress following the attack, despite the fact doing so may cost him money.

"I'm in a predicament - they're on my best bit of grass to get fat for market and time is ticking. Do I leave them there? Will that dog be back again?"

Tom is working against the clock to get his sheep ready for market and fears dog attacks will slow down the process.

The dog that carried out the attack on Tom's sheep is yet to be found and he is looking for information about how this could have happened.

"Somebody will have seen this - somebody's dog would have been covered in blood and that dog's got a taste for it now.

"Whether its a dog walker's dog or a dog that's escaped. Please get in touch."