Two sheep dead, six hurt in dog attack

WILDLIFE experts pleaded with dog owners to control their pets today after two sheep had to be destroyed and six others were injured in a vicious attack.

WILDLIFE experts pleaded with dog owners to control their pets today after two sheep had to be destroyed and six others were injured in a vicious attack.

The attack happened on Suffolk Wildlife Trust's nature reserve at Mickfield Meadow near Stonham Aspal and the animals were members of a flock of 20 Hebridean ewes - part of the trust's conservation grazing flock.

David Mason, SWT Sandlings manager, said: “Two sheep had to be destroyed; the others have been taken back to Foxburrow Farm near Woodbridge for treatment - thankfully none of the ewes were pregnant.

“The staff involved, who were called out during Boxing Day morning to deal with the incident, have been distressed by the loss of the animals. The incident has been reported to the police.”

One of the injured ewes had also been a victim of a similar attack at Upper Hollesley Common in 2007.

“We find it difficult to believe, as signs were clearly placed near the public footpaths and stiles around the meadow asking people to keep dogs on leads and explaining that the sheep are there as part of a conservation grazing programme,” Mr Mason said.

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“We cannot stress enough how important it is that people exercise responsible dog ownership by keeping their dogs restrained and under control when near livestock.

“Mickfield Meadow is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its rich variety of wildflowers. Grazing is vital if the site is to be kept free of scrub and saplings which is necessary for maintaining its floristic diversity.”

Did you witness this attack? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk