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Pregnant ewe killed by dogs – livestock attacks ‘devastating’ for farmers

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[P]olice are investigating an incident in which dogs attacked and killed a pregnant ewe on a farm in North Yorkshire.

At about 8pm on 14 April 2018, two lurcher dogs – one black and one white – entered a field in the Catterton area near Tadcaster and attacked a group of sheep. One ewe was killed, as were its two unborn lambs.

Inspector Jon Grainge, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Livestock worrying is a criminal offence, which is estimated to cost the farming community around £1.3m per year nationally. Quite apart from the impact on their livelihoods, it is absolutely devastating for farmers to come across the bodies of sheep who have been attacked and then left to suffer a slow and painful death.

“Unfortunately, such attacks are a growing problem in rural communities, and North Yorkshire Police is part of a working group aiming to tackle the problem. We need dog owners to take responsibility for their animals – it’s particularly important that they keep their dogs on leads and under control when they make their way through sheep fields, and that where dogs are kept at home is secure.”

North Yorkshire Police are investigating the incident and appealing for any information. Please contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Quote reference number 12180064128 when passing information.

A report from the National Police Chiefs’ Council Livestock Worrying Police Working Group published in February 2018 found that around 11 per cent of livestock worrying incidents involve repeat offenders (owners or walkers whose dog had worried or caused damage to livestock before), highlighting the importance of reporting all such incidents to the police.

Following the publication of the report, North Yorkshire Police is working with other forces and a wide range of stakeholders with an interest in this issue so that livestock can be better protected.

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