Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Farmer's plea after sheep savaged by dog in Laycock
A Laycock couple who keep sheep and lambs have urged dog owners to act responsibly following a spate of attacks on their animals over the summer.
Philip and Michelle Garbutt, of Wood Mill Farm, said the attacks left one lamb dead and two sheep seriously injured.
Mr Garbutt said the toll would have been higher if he and his father had not intervened during two of the incidents.
He said the land where the sheep graze is very close to a public footpath and near woodland where people walk their dogs.
“We’ve had three separate dog-related attacks since the end of May,” he said.
“In the last incident we had two sheep hurt and it’s touch and go as to whether they’ll survive because of the risk of infection.”
He and his wife have 21 sheep and lambs which they keep as a hobby, not to make a living.
Mr Garbutt, 28, said the first attack occurred on May 30, but he was able to chase away the two dogs before they could do any damage.
But on August 6 he and his wife found one of their lambs lying dead in the field after it was mauled overnight. He said the lamb’s neck had been savaged and that this was consistent with the kind of wounds inflicted by a dog.
The latest attack took place on August 22. He said: “We heard some dogs barking and my dad went into the field to see a sheep was being savaged by two dogs. The dogs ran off towards Goose Eye.
“The sheep had panicked, and as well as the two that were injured there were two which had run into the North Beck and got stuck. Three had got through fencing and were teetering on the edge of a cliff. They would have been running for their lives.”
He said the dogs involved on August 22 matched the appearance of those he chased off in May. He described them as a black lurcher-type hunting dog and a small black terrier.
Keighley councillor, Jan Smithies, said she had spoken to the Woodland Trust about the possibility of improving fencing and installing signs to warn dog walkers in the area to keep their animals on a lead.
“People think they’re walking through woods and don’t realise they’re near farmland,” she said.
“They might think their dogs are just running off and playing in the woods, but in fact it’s very easy for them to get on to the land where the sheep are.”
A spokesman for Airedale and North Bradford Police said: “We were called at around 2pm on August 22 to reports of two dogs having attacked sheep in a field at Wood Mill Farm. Inquiries are ongoing to trace the dogs and their owners, who are believed to have headed towards Goose Eye.
“Such attacks result in significant distress and cost to farmers and are ultimately preventable.
"If people have information about this latest incident or the owners of the dogs, please contact police on the non-emergency number 101."
A fortnight ago we reported how dogs had savaged 19 sheep in a night-time attack at fields in Oxenhope. Owners found seven of the sheep dead. A vet had to shoot the rest due to their injuries.