Farmer in shooting vow as dogs maul nine sheep to death

Mark Ross with two of his surviving sheep
Mark Ross with two of his surviving sheep
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A DEVASTATED farmer who lost nine sheep in a terror hound attack has vowed to shoot any beasts he catches doing likewise.

Mark Ross had eight sheep mauled in the vicious attack in the early hours of Saturday morning. Another animal was badly injured and had to be destroyed.

A dog walker came across the bloody scene in a wooded part of his 35-acre field near Dalkeith on Saturday afternoon. The dogs responsible have not been traced.

“I’m unbelievably angry and frustrated,” said Mr Ross, 40. “I spoke to the guy who said there had been a terrible racket coming from the woods in the early hours of the morning. His dogs were really upset.

“He went out during the day and the sheep were lying dead in the field.

“We gathered up all the sheep that were left. One broke free and made it all the way to Mayfield Medical Centre.

“Another one couldn’t walk and had to be put down because it had puncture wounds to its leg and was in shock.”

Mr Ross, who owns Wester Middleton Farm, near 
Gorebridge, fears the same dogs could have been responsible for an attack on his lambs at a field near Tesco Hardengreen earlier this month.

He said: “The dogs are not trained to kill and they make a real mess of the animals when they attack. One of the lambs had its rib cage torn off.

“Whether it was the same dogs who were responsible, I don’t know. Once the dogs get a taste of blood, that’s it, they will come back for others.

“I would say that someone is letting their dogs out on their own. There must be more than one as one dog would never kill eight sheep.”

Mr Ross, who said the most recent attack cost him more than £1000, said: “If I saw the dogs attacking the sheep, I would shoot them. There’s no question.”

Bob Carruth, of the National Farmers Union, said: “To lose so many animals in an attack is extreme. For the farmer, dealing with these kind of incidents where the animals are killed or are put down is extremely distressing. If a farmer sees one of their animals being attacked by dogs, he is within his rights to shoot them.”