Share

Clear spells

Fri

25°C | 14°C

Light rain

Sat

22°C | 13°C

Sunny spells

Sun

18°C | 8°C

Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Farmer Roger Cooper loses 36 ewes and lambs in bloodbath after twin dog attacks in Marden Thorn

06 March 2014
by Claire McWethy

Roger Cooper, who rents farmland at Marden Thorn off Thorn Road, found nine of his ewes and 15 lambs dead on Saturday night.

Then yesterday he found another five ewes and seven lambs killed, many with their throats chewed.

One of Roger Cooper’s sheep after being attacked by dogs

One of Roger Cooper’s sheep after being attacked by dogs

Both times he found dogs at the scene. He estimated that the attacks had cost him several thousand pounds, including money spent on removal of the bodies.

Mr Cooper, 54, has been working on farms all his life.

He said: "It is one of the worst cases I have ever come across. I have been lambing so I went out to check on the lambs on Saturday night.

"I was so angry when I saw what had happened... It is not the dogs' fault. It is the owners who let them run around willy-nilly..." - farmer Roger Cooper

"When I got there I saw two dogs tearing them to pieces. They were both greyhound cross-breeds.

"It was the first time I have been to those fields without my gun or I would have shot them.

"Instead, I shone my torch on them and they ran away. I didn’t see the owners.

"There was only one of the dogs there the next time."

Mr Cooper, who looks after alpacas in Hawkhurst when he is not tending to his sheep, only has a smallholding and 60 sheep.

He fears he may have to put some of the remaining animals down due to their wounds.

He said: "Having the sheep is a bit of a stop gap to help pay the bills. But it is just costing me money.

"I was so angry when I saw what had happened, then sorry for the lambs.

"It is not the dogs' fault. It never is. It is the owners who let them run around willy-nilly."

Farmer Roger Cooper in his field where sheep have been attacked for a second time

Farmer Roger Cooper in his field where sheep have been attacked for a second time

The National Farmers' Union estimates that attacks by dogs on livestock cost its members more than £1million every year.

Dog owners are urged to keep their pets under control, especially when they are near farmland.

Farmers are entitled to take action if they see dogs chasing or attacking their sheep - and in some cases they are permitted to shoot dogs.

Police have attended the farm to investigate and further enquiries will be made by officers from Kent Police's rural partnership team.

Click here for more news from Maidstone.

Click here for more news from around the county.

Comments 

Forgotten Password?

Forgotten Username?

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments.
Please click here for our house rules.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.