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Farmer disgusted after sheep attack

PUBLISHED: 15:13 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 08 July 2010

Dominic Chessum

A distraught farmer and his wife have told of their disgust after a frenzied animal attack left five of their pregnant sheep dead or with injuries so severe that they had to be put down.

A distraught farmer and his wife have told of their disgust after a frenzied animal attack left five of their pregnant sheep dead or with injuries so severe that they had to be put down.

Last night Nigel and Yvonne Webster, from Scoulton, near Watton, said they had never seen anything like the wounds inflicted on their ewes in all their years of farming.

Some of the sheep, which were in a field near Saham Toney at the time of the attack, had bite marks all over their legs and the back of their bodies while others had their rear ends ripped apart.

The 24 sheep which survived were so frightened by the beast or beasts which attacked them that they fled over barbed wire and electric fencing.

With almost all the ewes being pregnant Mr Webster said that not only had he and his wife lost the five sheep in horrific circumstances but, having only had the flock scanned by a vet at the weekend, he knew that four of them were carrying twins and another was carrying triplets.

Mr and Mrs Webster now fear they may loose even more of the lambs before they are even born because the stress inflicted upon the animals could cause the ewes to abort just five or six weeks before their due lambing date.

At £70 per lamb and £50-60 per ewe the attack could cost the Websters thousands in lost lambs and potential breeding stock.

Mr Webster said: “I can stomach most things but this is the worst thing I have seen.

“I got a phone call to say that there was a sheep on its back with its legs in the air.

“When I got to the Saham Toney there were 10 sheep left in the field.

“The rest had escaped into other fields or were in ditches.

“There was wool everywhere - in the field and caught on the barbed wire fence.”

Mr Webster said having spoken to people living near the field, which is at Ovington Road just off Cley Road, he thought the incident probably occurred about 3am on Wednesday, January 7, because at that time people had reported their own dogs barking in response to some sort of disturbance.

He does not know what type of animal attacked the flock but suspects it could have been a number of dogs.

“We do not know if it might have been people down there out to have fun and who let their dogs loose a bit like in hare coursing,” he continued.

Mrs Webster, said: “The sheep are used to dogs because I work them with dogs all the time so they would not have been immediately scared.”

Anyone who witnessed this incident or who has knowledge of it should contact PC Hayley Harwood at Watton Police Station on 0845 4564567 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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