A FARMER has spoken of his horror after discovering one of his sheep mutilated after a gruesome attack by a dog.
Colin Dent said he would not hesitate to shoot the animal if it came near his flock again.
Mr Dent, of Greenriggs, Kirkby Stephen, was forced to destroy the sheep when it had been left wandering for several days in agony.
The incident happened between Thursday (March 21) and Monday in a field next to Upper Eden Rugby Club, Kirkby Stephen, which is known locally as Tarns Bottom.
The field is accessed via a footpath near Westgarth and the farm in question saw five ‘almost identical’ attacks in 2012.
“Eight lambs were left orphaned in the attacks last year and we had one sheep survive for two weeks and my daughters tried to nurse it, but we had to destroy it in the end. The injuries were so bad it couldn’t breathe properly,” said Mr Dent, who farms 350-acres on the outskirts of the town.
He added: “For this to happen again is unbelievable. This poor sheep must have been in agony. Its face had been virtually writhed off,” said Mr Dent.
The farmer said a neighbouring farm had also suffered similar sheep attacks.
“It’s got to be the same dog. The injuries are identical,” added Mr Dent.