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Home Maidstone News Article
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.
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."
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.
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