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Slaughter of the innocents

Date online: 07 April 2014

Anguish of farmers as dogs allowed to roam
This macabre picture shows the shocking slaughter of innocent young lambs by a renegade dog.

The chilling image underpins a tough warning issued today urging dog owners to keep pets on a short lead to protect farm animals and wildlife during the spring and early summer..

Worried national park officials, who cover Dovestone and parts of Saddleworth, say farmers have already reported incidents over the past few weeks.

And the National Sheep Association (NSA), say the killing of livestock is becoming a “persistent problem”.

Our photograph comes from sheep farmer Darren Hough from Wharmton, which overlooks Uppermill and Greenfield. Taken by another farmer, it shows young lambs brutally killed by a dog which also lies dead, shot by their owner.

Mr Hough, who has lost newly-born lambs to dog attacks, said: “It shows the real horror our flocks face from marauding dogs let loose my irresponsible owners.”

Claire Crowther, whose family has a 9,000 acre farm above Dovestone, said: “The Chronicle picture shows the reality a lot of people won’t want to see. But they need to know that’s what happens when they don’t train their dogs.

‘“We had a particularly bad attack on a ewe which had to be destroyed. The worst part was it was deliberately targeted by men in a van.

“Dog attacks are constantly happening,” she declared. “We lose loads of sheep a year through mindless people letting their dogs run around everywhere.

“Even if the dog isn’t actually grabbing the sheep, damage from stress, especially to unborn lambs, can cause lambs to be aborted or die inside the ewe, eventually killing the ewe too.”

National park ranger manager Jenny Waller said: “Walking a dog is one of the joys of the countryside, but all dog-owners should think about young animals and keep their pets on short leads during this particularly sensitive time.”

By law, dogs must be under control on public rights of way and on a short lead on open access land from March 1 to July 31. In fields containing farm animals and nesting birds it is sensible to keep dogs on a lead.


Surely the dog is innocent too? It is only following its nature - to me tge most shocking thing is the dead dog - let's not forget the lambs are produced for meat - fines for owners yes - slaughter of innocents no!

Well, if this picture doesn't hit home, then nothing will. Any responsible dog owner should keep their dog on a lead out there - if not, then you know what will happen from now. Not before the time this!

shocking, its not fair.

Whilst the report speaks for itself, I have to add that its about time the farmers took some responsibility for the safeguarding of their new born lambs and not simply hoofing them out onto open access moorland. How about fencing area's off within their own land and showing some concern instead of just worrying about how much money has been lost. These people are simply concerned about the profit when it comes to slaughter time and not the welfare of the Lambs.

It doesn't take mush to imagine the outrage of the idiotic owner claiming that their dog shouldn't have been shot, that the farmer was out of order and it wasn't doing anything wrong.
I wonder how many times farmers have been threatened or even attacked by irresponsible owners unable to accept their own failure to control their animal, and whether they would be justified in shooting the owner too!

As distressing and graphic the Chronicle's front page photo was, it pales in visceral impact to the murderous fate that otherwise would have met these creatures at the slaughterhouse. Now, I challenge the Chronicle to print that one.

Disgusting shooting a dog, farmers need to ensure there lambs are fenced in then the dogs cant get to their precious sheep!! u know the ones they then slaughter. Dogs are pets and should never be allowed to be shot by a farmer.
I took my dog on a beech once, yes it chased a lamb. But the gate to field was OPEN, and my dog meant no harm. Luckily I managed to catch him, the farmer then came over and said if he had had his gun he would have shot my dog. Farmers need to ensure there animals are safe

And how many have been prosecuted?

firstly i don't even understand ali boos comments. im a dog owner and if it did that to innocent animals I would have it put down, precisely what the farmer has done.to imply the lambs were born to be killed anyway doesn't compute. so any kind of death will be ok.. could imagine that dog if it lived going on to tear a small child apart

Mr Choughs land is fenced in, l know as I used to work there. One day back in the 70's three dogs killed over 60 sheep and numerous lambs it was much publicised at the time. I was involved in bringing these animals back to the farm and believe if a dog owner saw the carnage that just three dogs created in just one afternoon, they would shoot them thereselves.

The poor dog is innocent as well, the fields with the lambs and sheep in should be fenced off. The dog doesn't understand that it shouldn't chase the sheep! As horrible as this story is clearly something needs to change if this is happening often. They should be fenced off where they can't be attacked. Also as a dog owner we have a responsibility as well. But if u let yr dog off the lead in a park area no where near any lambs how are we suppose to know if your dog gets through a open fence.

Ally boo......replace lambs with a child and then say the dog is following it's nature.

Shaun....more nonsense....stop trying to move the goalposts and changing the story to suit your ultra wet liberalism. This is about irresponsible dog owners and in one section of the story using the dogs for some form of sick "sport".

The usual sanctimonious drivel from Mr McGrath, the article is about taking responsibility for your pet dog, why oh why do left wing drivel merchants always have to try and change the agenda ??

'The poor dog' words fail me!

About time, keep your dog on a lead

how do you know the fields had bad fencing, and that the dog wasnt on a walk with someone.

if your child was in the park and got out onto the road would it not be your fault for not watching your child, it would be the fault of the park owners for not having good fencing.
how are we suppose to know if your dog gets through a open fence(your words) c
because its should be on a lead or you should be watching it

There's some top class drivel on here.

EVERY responsible dog owner knows that if their dog gets in with sheep it will kill, and most likely be killed itself if the farmer is about. That's a plain fact, so live with it. If you're prepared to compromise on that, then don't have a dog, or don't take it out near sheep.

How do people think its the farmers fault? Whats all the gibberish about fences. We used to have a dog that would jump a 6 foot fence to escape. The only way to stop it was keeping it on a lead.
Its the dog owners fault for the death of the sheep and the dog. The farmers are perfectly entitled to protect their flocks and income.
If someone was costing you money, from your wage, by stupid irresponsible actions, that can be so easily prevented, you'd be endlessly moaning.

@Ally boo/timberwolf/blue22/emma943:
You clearly have no understanding of the countryside. Farmers are well within their rights to shoot dogs causing distress to sheep.
Most farmers would do anything to keep their stock safe, it's their livelihood after all. Gates left open, walls or fences broken are sometimes the result of incompetent "townies", sometimes natural forces.
Dogs are the owners responsibility, if you can't control it then don't own it and certainly don't let it off the lead!

At Mr. McGrath. Though the pictures are sickening, I have been in a few slaughterhouses and believe me, the animals suffer less at the hands of a controlled kill, than a ravenous dog. Lambs, cows and chickens are reared to provide for the "top of the food chain". Unfortunate, but true.

The 3 most common stories concerning dogs you will see in the local and national press this year will be: Dog kills child, dog kills dog, dog kills sheep. Put them on a lead with a muzzle and pick up their "litter" or shoot the lot. Large pet dogs should have no more future in modern life than cigarettes and tax discs.

jwithers totally agree with you. Livestock are a farmers livelihood. Farmers not only breed animals but take care of the countryside and without sheep it would soon become overgrown and the moors that we enjoy for recreation would be an impossible tangle of ferns and gorse. I have sheep farmer friends and they care passionately for there animals and the countryside. We should be supporting them instead of criticising them.

Crazy entitled posts on here!
Keep your dog on a lead, it is your responsibility to keep the dog under control.
I cannot walk my dog on the moors because of dogs off the lead.
I sear we humans are regressing back to worms as IQ and backbone are disappearing from our species.
All dogs off the lead on the moors should be shot on site, What about the wildlife killed by dogs that we never hear of????

Thank you Oldham Chronicle for showing the reality of what happens locally. The farmer was right to shoot the dog; the owner of the dog should be prosecuted and be made to compensate the farmer for his loss. Evidentally some readers have little idea of the real hardship and long hours involved in the breeding and raising of sheep. (And for the record I am a dog owner)

Typical Anthropocentrism from lgwatcher.
"Top of the food chain drivel".
Go and stand in a field with some wild large cats and see how long that theory lasts.
I'm sure these "innocent" lambs would love to have been shipped off to an industrial killing building to bleed to death in agony.
And considering 3% of cattle, 10% of sheep and goats, and 4% of poultry aren't stunned (check what those mean in actual numbers. http://tinyurl.com/p36xlar) it's barbaric and evil torture and hidden(on purpose)

Jwithers, Farmers must follow strict guidlines if they intend to shoot a dog at large that is worrying their livestock. Anything other than a single clean shot, impossible with a shotgun, can incur prosecution. The vast majority owning rifles or section 1 firearms will find their certificate does not cover them for this intention and there is a real risk of prosecution. Basically, there has to be no other possible means available before a dog can be shot. As you see, i do understand.


You clearly dont have a clue, if the farmer wants to protect his sheep great! but fence them in! a dog is a pet a memeber of the family. I dont think dogs should be killing sheep, but farmers have no right to kill a family memember!

Oldhan watcher. Show me a local field with large wild cats and I'll duly stand there and see how the top of the food chain drivel works. I'd protect myself, unfortunately, the sheep and lambs couldn't. Where is your point going ? I wasn't stating figures, I was merely stating the truth. Any Government Approved slaughterhouse has to abide by the rules. The figures you quoted, which I won't question, are they global or national ?

Never heard so much tripe, your dog causes this damage, it should be shot, end of. And the owners sued for compensation. People from the town get yourself educated, your getting stupider by the day. This is from a townie, but with added common sense.


Wow some interesting comments here, timberwolf I think you will find that fields have footpaths running through them and even though the field itself will most likely be fenced off do you suggest that the footpaths themselves get fenced off? That's a great idea 2metres of ground for hundreds of walkers and dogs to play with. How long until the fences get cut then..blue22if your dog meant no harm to the lamb it was chasing then why was it doing it in the 1st place??playing? Not likely...

Also timberwolf I don't know a farmer that doesn't have flock protection down on their firearms/shotgun certificate it's common sense if the farmer gets a gun to protect their flock, they will make sure they can legally do so . Not rocket science is it?

In your minds eye - change the picture from lambs to children. Keep dogs on a lead and under CONTROL!

Bob159, I obviously am not condoning this behaviour although the info in the report is sketchy at best. The point I am trying to make is summed up in your reply, new born lambs unattended in fields with hundreds (your estimate) of dog walkers passing through is surely a recipe for disaster. We all know a small percentage are not fit to own a goldfish never mind a large canine.

Re your second comment Bob159, I have yet to come across a firearms certificate with "flock protection", new one on me. I have seen "pest control" as its quite a common one however the shooting of a canine will not fall under this. I will suggest, contorary to your opinion, that the majority of farmers with a firearms licence will not be fully aware of when,where and under what circumstances they may legally discharge their weapon.

Timberwolf apologies you was correct re flock protection I have just spoken to a friend of mine who works for GMP firearms department and he just corrected me,he said farmers will have a section on their licence which will read:'for the shooting of animals to protect other animals or humans' He also said that when he visits the farmers who apply for a firearms certificate he tells them to make sure that is on their certificate so I doubt many will be without it .

Dog walkers kept cutting fencing I put up to protect them from our horses. That is criminal damage, but it kept happening no matter how thick the wire used was. Some of them feel entitled to what they want provided it allows their dogs free reign. We own dogs too, but are always respectful and never let them off the lead near livestock.


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