Devon

Devon farmer paints 'no dogs' message on dead sheep

dead sheep Image copyright Matt Baker
Image caption Matt Baker said a similar incident had happened three months ago and one sheep had died

A farmer has painted a message to "irresponsible" dog owners on three dead sheep after his flock was attacked on Boxing Day.

Matt Baker placed the lambs, daubed with "no dogs thanks", at the entrance to his field in Alphington, Devon.

After some branded the stunt "disturbing". he said he wanted to send a "strong message" to those who did not train their pets.

Police urged people to keep pets on a lead around farm animals.

Mr Baker said he found five of his flock of 27 store lambs "savaged" early on Wednesday, and the electric fence surrounding the field he rents pulled down.

'Untrained dogs'

He said he suspected an out-of-control pet was to blame.

Mr Baker said "untrained dogs" should be kept on leads, and not allowed "out on their own" around sheep.

Some criticised the farmer after he posted a photo of his warning on Facebook, while others backed his call for people to control their pets.

Mandy Adams commented on Facebook saying: "Showing dead sheep is disturbing and very wrong just put a normal sign up."

But others supported the message to pet owners.

Kirsten M Wright said: "We had to endure sheep being chased over cliffs through the result of ignorant dog owners; often resulting in hand-rearing orphaned lambs. People should be responsible."

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed the sheep attack had been reported to them.

A force spokesman said: "No matter how well trained or docile your pet is, the temptation to chase is a natural instinct that is sometimes hard for a dog to suppress.

"The advice to dog owners is simple: exercise responsibly and keep your dog on a lead when near livestock."

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