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Lamb dies while fleeing loose dog at Eastwell Farm near Ashford


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Dog owners are being asked to keep their dogs on leads around farm animals after a lamb drowned while running away from a dog.

The death at Eastwell Farm near Ashford last week is the latest in a number of tragic incidents involving dogs and livestock in the county.

A lamb has drowned while fleeing a loose dog in Ashford. Stock image
A lamb has drowned while fleeing a loose dog in Ashford. Stock image

It is reported that the lamb was separated from its mother and chased by a dog that was off its lead on Friday.

In its panic to try and get away, the young sheep tried to cross a lake on the farmland and tragically drowned.

Ashford local Elspeth Dunn said the family that owned the farm were devastated.

"They don't want to talk about the incident," she said, "but they're keen for dog owners to take note of what happened.

"These incidents are happening far too much at the moment; perhaps people are walking in different areas because they have got so used to their normal routes.

Dog owners are liable in a number of ways if their pet attacks livestock. Photo: Louise Elkington
Dog owners are liable in a number of ways if their pet attacks livestock. Photo: Louise Elkington

"There is no excuse for the number of terrible incidents that we are seeing, it's completely needless, heartbreaking, and avoidable.

"I'm sure the dog owner in this situation is upset as well, but this wouldn’t have happened if they had been responsible and kept the dog on a lead."

It was revealed last month that there had been 24 dog attacks on sheep and other livestock across the county in just four months.

There have been more incidents since then, with two out of five attacks in five weeks in Sandwich causing the death of 10 pregnant ewes and a seriously injured lamb in one farm.

Sgt Darren Walshaw, of Kent Police's Rural Task Force, called on dog owners to "act responsibly" around farms.

Speaking last month, he said: "If you are in charge of a dog that chases or attacks livestock on agricultural land then you could be prosecuted, fined and ordered to pay compensation.

"It is also worth considering that under the Animals Act 1971 a person who is acting to protect livestock is within their rights to kill or injure a dog that is attacking their animals.

"On top of the horrific injuries sustained by livestock in such attacks, incidents of this nature can have significant financial implications for the owners who often incur vets bills and the loss of the animal."

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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