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Sheep had their faces ripped open in a horrific attack near Inveraray that resulted in the death of 11 animals.
The owner of the sheep, who preferred to be unnamed, was on his morning livestock feeding round when he discovered the gruesome scene at 7.50am on Sunday March 4 in a field of breeding ewe hoggs (yearling females) near Inveraray Golf Club.
Police believe the suspected dog attack happened between 8.30am on Saturday March 3 and the time the farmer fed his sheep the following day.
In total, four sheep were killed by being driven into a burn and drowned, seven had to be put down due to the extent of their injuries and six survived and are being treated for facial and other wounds.
The farmer said: ‘I have experienced attacks by dogs before, but this was one of the worst I have ever seen. There was no dog and no-one around by the time I discovered it, but this definitely looks like a dog has been loose.’
‘Every sheep attacked had its face ripped open. It wasn’t a pleasant sight,’ he added.
Lochgilphead police sergeant Iain MacNicol, said: ‘This is a particularly serious incident of sheep worrying and would have been extremely traumatic for the animals as well as very distressing for the farmer who discovered the destruction.
‘Dog owners have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control at all times and dogs should be kept on a close lead when near livestock.’
He added: ‘It is a criminal offence for dogs to be allowed to attack or chase livestock. It is also an offence for dogs to be at large in a field in which there are sheep. Dog owners can be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000. Dog owners can also be held financially liable for damages done by a dog.
‘Livestock owners are legally entitled to protect their animals as necessary, which can result in the destruction of the dog to protect the lives of other animals.’
Local officers are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with any information to call them on 101, quoting incident 1138. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555111.