Seven sheep have been killed and two others mauled in a savage dog attack in North Wales.
Devastated farmer Mark Oare said the attack on his flock happened sometime between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday (6 January) at Park Y Groes Farm in Lixwm, Holywell.
The multiple injuries suffered by the sheep suggest more than one dog may have been involved in the attack, police said.
Mr Oare told local press it is the third similar incident in the area in recent weeks – and he urged other farmers to be vigilant. The attack has left him £1,500 out of pocket.
He told the Leader: “We don’t know who is behind it because no one seems to be owning up to it.
The first attack was at a neighbouring farm, and obviously he moved all his sheep after that, and we think we are the third farm it has happened to now.
“All we can do is try and get the word out there to prevent it happening to other animals, and for farmers to be vigilant.”
Laws ‘not fit for purpose’
David Hanson, Labour MP for Delyn, called for tougher penalties for sheep worrying.
He said: “I have been working with North Wales Police and the All Party Parliament Group for Animal Welfare to bring about much-needed changes to the law.
“Each time I have called for these reforms the government have dug their heels in. This worrying incident demonstrates why the law is no longer fit for purpose.
“Many pastoral farmers are facing incidents where they are losing their livestock and they need both legal and financial protection.”
If the government fails to act, attacks on livestock will only increase, he added.
1st job of the day another livestock attack, this time in Lixwm, Flintshire. Seven dead and two injured. The attack has happened between 2pm Saturday & 4pm Sunday. We think two dogs have been involved. Any info it's W001550 on 101 or @Wales_CS pic.twitter.com/3EGZy3yT3I
— RuralCrimeTeam™ (@NWPRuralCrime) January 8, 2018
Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, if a dog worries sheep on agricultural land, the person in charge of the dog is guilty of an offence. But farmers want tougher penalties, including prison sentences for irresponsible dog owners who let their pets roam around and attack livestock.
North Wales Police’s rural crime team is investigating the incident and appealed for help to identify the owners of the dogs.
A force spokesman said: “We think two dogs may have been involved.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. The crime reference number is W001550.