DOG-walkers have been urged to take more care after sheep were attacked in a field near Chichester.
This was the message from Julie Cullen, whose sheep were bitten around the neck and back after a dog ran loose in the field on Sunday afternoon (July 13).
Police are now investigating the attack off the B2145 Hunston Road, near St Joseph’s Night Refuge, just south of the A27 Whyke roundabout.
“We got a phone call about 5.30pm to say that one of the sheep was out in the road, so I came straight up here,” said Ms Cullen.
“I came in and checked these ones and there were two that had been attacked by dogs.”
A ewe had bitemarks around its neck and a lamb had bitemarks around its back and tail.
“One of the sheep was chased out of the field into the road,” said Ms Cullen.
The ewe was on the busy B2145, but had been rescued by a couple who stopped and placed it in a field over the other side of the road.
“I don’t know their names, but I would like to say a huge thank you,” said Ms Cullen.
“If they hadn’t stopped, I don’t know what would have happened. It could easily have caused an accident.”
In total there were 26 sheep and 52 lambs in the field, but this is not the first time they have been attacked, with two dogs killing several of Ms Cullen and her partner Paul Newbold’s sheep a few years ago.
“Oh goodness, they killed at least half a dozen sheep and they really badly injured other ones,” she said.
It is not known what sort of dog attacked the sheep, but it is suspected to be a large one as it was able to bite the Poll Dorset sheep around the neck.
Ms Cullen said: “It’s really just to remind people that if they take their dogs for a walk in the country, dogs will go running off, but if there’s livestock anywhere around, it’s vitally important just to make sure you know where the dog is and keep it on a lead.”
On Monday (July 14), she said the sheep were ‘extremely scared’, but by Tuesday they were starting to relax.
All the injured sheep have received medical attention.
Sussex Police confirmed it was investigating the incident.
A spokesman said: “We always urge owners to keep dogs under full control, ideally on leads, especially while walking in any areas of livestock.
“They also need to check their own boundary fences and do all they can to keep their dogs contained within gardens.
“Any dog worrying sheep on farmland can be shot by farmers in order to protect their livestock.
“Anyone who does not keep their dogs under control also risks being prosecuted.
“We ask anyone who witnesses sheep-worrying to call Sussex Police on 101 to report it.”