Police are set to begin DNA testing dogs in an attempt to find the canine culprits of sheep attacks in the Cotswolds.
DNA swabs will be taken from bite marks on sheep with Police warning that owners of offending dogs “will be dealt with by the police and compensation will be sought for the farmer.”
There have been 40 sheep attacks in the past five weeks in the Cotswold area, including one incident where a husky was fatally shot by a farmer after it attacked a group of pregnant ewes.
The farmer said he attempted to distract the husky but when this didn’t work he shot it as a last resort, police have defended his actions saying the lethal force was entirely justified.
Speaking to Gloucestershire Live, the farmer explained other attacks he has witnessed. On March 20th, he said a dog caused fatal injuries to three pregnant ewes, with the lambs they were carrying sadly not able to be saved. Five days later he then saw a labrador and a lurcher chasing pregnant ewes around a field, he was able to scare the dogs away but the ewes were so distressed they later miscarried.
Police Constable Ashley Weller, rural and economic crime officer for the Cotswolds, said: "Every year farmers suffer the consequences of irresponsible dog owners, with many of their sheep being attacked and killed or losing their unborn young.
"Once again I am appealing to all dog owners to keep their pets on leads when they are near any livestock, no matter how much you trust them. This is for your own sake as well as the farm animals.
"It is an offence to allow your dog to worry livestock and farmers have legal rights, under certain conditions, to shoot the dog if they feel the livestock is in danger.