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Police 'incredibly frustrated' by more sheep attacks on Cissbury Ring

13 Mar, 2018 16:10 News Witness Appeals

Sussex Police's rural crime lead has described himself as 'incredibly frustrated' after yet more dog attacks on sheep at Cissbury Ring on the Downs above Worthing.

One of the attacks took place in the field where a farmer-led event highlighting the problems of sheep worrying took place just a week before and a second occurred on the same day on the same farm. The event was attended by dog owners who regularly exercise their pets in the area.

Sergeant Tom Carter said: "Given all the publicity around these attacks across the county and especially at Cissbury Ring, I'm incensed that dog owners are still letting their pets run loose among livestock and cause dreadful suffering to the sheep that they are savaging.

"We have released photos and we have released a video, but the message is still not getting through. In the most recent attack on Saturday (March 10), the injuries a dog inflicted on a ewe are so terrible, that we just can't release photos of them. Suffice to say, the poor animal was still alive, but with a head wound that meant the only course was to put it out of its suffering.

"One of these attacks happened only yards away from one of our signs warning about keeping dogs on a lead.

"The owner of the dog involved in the second incident has done the 'responsible' thing and admitted to the attack. This is an economic loss to the farmer, but it goes way beyond financial considerations and I am incredibly frustrated that these attacks are continuing.

"With Spring arriving and the Easter holiday approaching, more dog owners will be out and about in the countryside and quite rightly enjoying the experience.

"However, those dogs must be kept on a lead. No matter how well-behaved or well-trained you think they are, your cuddly, docile pet can turn into a vicious, uncontrollable killer in the blink of an eye. Don't think you can put them on a lead the moment you see sheep, they'll probably see them before you and they're gone. Keep your dog on a lead!"

Sussex NFU Adviser James Osman said: “It is now the lambing season and across Sussex around 330,000 ewes are giving birth to lambs now and over the coming month.

“We would like members of the public to report any sightings of dogs attacking flocks to Sussex police by dialling 999. We’d also hope that responsible dog owners who use a lead around livestock will encourage others to do the same.”

No dog or owner has been identified for the first attack. The sheep was found shortly before 7am and it is believed that it happened at some time in the previous 12 hours. Anyone with information is asked to report online or call 101 quoting serial 242 of 10/03.

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