29 pregnant ewes dead after dog attack at Carrick farm

Sheep worrying has a devastating effect on farmers.
Sheep worrying has a devastating effect on farmers.

A top sheep breeder has spoken of his devastation after in-lamb ewes were mauled by two dogs earlier this week, causing substantial losses, and heartbreak.

David Morrison, of Dalwyne Blackies, Barr, Girvan, was alerted to the attack on Monday morning, after two dogs had attacked his sheep overnight.

Mr Morrison, who’s herd topped Lanark Market last week, will see substantial losses as a result of the attack, with 15 ewes in-lamb found dead, another 14 having to be put down the following day, with a further eight currently injured, with the risk of them aborting.

When he entered the field he found a dead ewe with two dogs standing over her at around 7am, with a neighbour attempting to shoot one of the dogs.

Police were notified and are currently trying to trace the owners of the dogs.

Mr Morrison said: “This attack is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, we are so devastated by it. It’s not just about the financial losses which are likely to be more than £50,000; we have built our flocks up over generations and they can’t be replaced, it’s heartbreaking.

“It’s always a last resort to shoot a dog when it’s worrying sheep, but when you see the damage they have done and the risk they will continue to worry, you have no option. We notified police immediately, and we just hope the dogs are caught before they strike again.

“We hope no one else goes through what we have and we really plead with the public to keep their dogs on leads and fully under control.”

immy Ireland, Ayrshire Regional Chairman commented: “This is a hugely distressing incident for all involved, and it is clear we need to do more to raise awareness of the damage dogs can do when let off the leash.

“Last year saw the highest number of instances from over the last seven years of livestock worrying, and we need dog owners to take heed of our warnings, to keep dogs on lead and under their control, avoiding fields with livestock where possible and taking an alternative route.

“Spring time is such an important time for farmers with lambing and calving, and as we’ve seen in this case, incidents of sheep worrying can have devastating effects for both the owners and the animals involved.”