Plea to dog owners after sheep attack in Barns Green

Chris Rolfe and Sophie Edney with their Bluefaced Leicester Sheep that were attacked recently. 10-03-15 JPCt. Pic Steve Robards SUS-151003-212549001
Chris Rolfe and Sophie Edney with their Bluefaced Leicester Sheep that were attacked recently. 10-03-15 JPCt. Pic Steve Robards SUS-151003-212549001
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A sheep farmer has pleaded with dog owners to keep their pets on a lead after a ‘horrendous’ attack in Barns Green.

Sophie Edney and her partner Chris Rolfe, who both own sheep on Emmetts Farm Land, saw one of their animals horrifically attacked by a dog on Sunday March 1.

It was horrendous, absolutely horrendous

Sophie Edney, sheep farmer

The pair are in their second year of breeding sheep and Sophie said she couldn’t believe what she saw.

She said: “I heard someone calling their dog, it seemed fine. What we then heard was a lot of screaming.

“It was horrendous, absolutely horrendous. I was lying in the field for an hour and ten minutes with an animal that was dying in my arms.

“We have done everything we possibly can to stop it from happening, there are fences up and signs - we have done everything possible.”

She added due to the severity of the injuries the sheep had to be put down.

The incident was reported to Sussex Police.

The pair asked for a community resolution, instead of the court process, which the dog owner, a woman from Billingshurst, agreed to.

Police said the owner agreed to pay £250 to cover the cost of having the sheep’s body removed and for the cost of the lamb that the sheep was expecting. She also agreed to spend a day on the farm to help with the lambing.

Despite the negatives, Sophie said she would like something positive to come out of the attack.

She continued: “If I can stop it happening to a second one we can try and make something positive out of something that is quite horrific really.

“It is the owners that are the problem, not the dogs. All the fields have signs up saying ‘there are sheep in the field please keep your dog on a lead’. We need owners to listen to these warnings. The dogs get punished really for the ignorance of the owner.”