My heart goes out to yet another farmer who has lost his sheep through irresponsible dog owners.
‘He won’t hurt them; he only wants to play’ is one of the silly remarks you get.
Well sheep don’t play, they panic and, like humans at some of these public ‘tragic’ events we hear about, they just keep pushing forward crushing one another to death.
The thought of these sheep gasping for air as they were crushed and, choking as they swallowed the water and drowned is more than ‘just horrific’.
I saw it first hand where I lived once and it’s something you never forget.
I was able to contact the owners before the children got home from school as it was their ‘pet sheep’, retired from the flock, to live its days out quietly in the paddock.
I got home just too late, with pieces of fleece blowing through my wire fence and the two dogs making off across the field.
They were never caught, but would do it again.
Once it’s happened they will be back for the chase.
I have some friends who have a public footpath through their land and have had several upsets over the years with their sheep being attacked.
This resulting in death, injuries and aborted lambs, caused by stress of being chased around the field, which has the same effect as a heavily pregnant woman would have if she was chased and attacked by thugs.
I put a photocopy from ‘Farmers Weekly’, showing the horrific attacks on sheep (over 140 crushed to death in one case) in the post box of some people whose dog was seen chasing sheep and cows in the field behind us on more than one occasion, while its owner shouted unmentionable names at it because it wouldn’t come back when he called it. Dogs don’t.
They switch off when they are focused on something more exciting and it’s lucky for them, and the dog, that the farmer didn’t see it first!
Ok, so they don’t speak to me now after calling me ‘a wicked old man’ over the dogs, but that’s another story.
And yes, I have been a dog owner myself!
He was a Border Collie who worked with me on the farm in a trained and responsible manner.
Name and address supplied