Pulborough farmers are appealing for witnesses after a sheep from their flock was savaged to death and several others injured in a suspected dog attack.
It is believed a dog entered a shed at Sylvian Nurseries on West Chiltington Road and mauled ‘Nicole’ the sheep to death sometime between Wednesday, June 26, 9pm and Thursday, June 27, 5.45am.
Returning from holiday, farmers Ivor and Lynda Kiverstein were informed of the ‘devastating’ news by owner of Sylvan Nurseries, Peter Verhaul, who had been looking after the flock in their absence.
“One sheep was found dead in the shed and the rest had gone flying out of there to get away,” Lynda said.
“The flock then smashed through a fence to escape to another field on the farm.
“Two of them were badly cut and had to be stitched up and five had minor injuries.
“I was devastated.”
The couple who own Tullens Fruit Farm in Pulborough take the award winning breed of sheep to local shows.
Nicole, in particular, was described as a ‘prize ewe’ and ‘fine specimen’.
Ivor said: “We’re rearing a rare pedigree flock and have a value for them beyond the monetary value.”
After assessing the bite marks on the dead sheep, Ivor believes the culprit to be a dog .
“Because it was very early nobody saw the incident, so we don’t know what dog it was and we can’t go back to the nursery until the dog is found,” Ivor said.
“The dog’s owner may have thought it only attacked a deer or a rabbit, but they must know this has happened and we’d like to make an appeal to this person so they understand the implication of the incident.
“The dog has done it once and it will do it again.”
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “A sheep owner contacted police on July 2 to say that while he was away on holiday one of his sheep was attacked and killed and several others were injured by a dog before 6am on June 27 while in a field near Sylvan Nursery in West Chiltington.
“Attempts are being made to identify the dog or its owner.
“The neighbourhood policing team have also been paying attention to the area where the sheep were.”
If you have any information please call Sussex Police quoting serial 490 of 2/7.