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Row after dead sheep killed by dog left by footpath in Whalley
10:00am Saturday 21st December 2013 in News
A ROW has erupted after a farmer tied a dead sheep to a gate close to a public footpath as a warning to irresponsible dog owners.
Neighbours have criticised the move, saying the sight of the sheep is unpleasant for passing walkers in Whalley.
But farmer Colin Middleton said he put the animal carcass there with a warning sign as a last resort after losing several hundreds of pounds of livestock last winter.
Resident Wez Hollin’s 19-year-old daughter Liselle was distressed after she came across the sheep whilst walking the family dog.
Wez said: “She was walking down the path and came across a decomposing dead sheep with no eyes.
“It had been tied to a gatepost right at the side of the footpath.
“It really disturbed her. And surely it’s a health risk by this time.”
Her fiance Simon Teale, 46, went to help Liselle after she found the sheep.
He said: “It’s a nice walk. We have two younger children, a 12-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, and we let them take the dog down there because it’s safe and quiet.
“I can’t imagine how my daughter would be if she saw it.
“As dog owners we fully understand the responsibility to not let them chase sheep or bite sheep.
“There’s a small percentage of dog owners who don’t respect that, so I know how the farmer feels, but he’s just doing the doing the community an absolute diservice.
“There’s one particular owner and dog causing people problems. They know who it is so when they’ve dealt with that person the sheep will stay there.”
Mr Middleton said he had now removed the sheep and had not wanted to upset responsibile dog owners.
He said: “It’s a busy pathway down by the river. When the weather is right over 100 dogs go over there every day.
“I’ve nothing against dog owners. I want them to help me find out who it is who is letting her dogs chase my sheep.
“There’s one woman in particular who’s always on her mobile phone while her dog’s running around.
“She can’t control the dog and it won’t come to her.
“There’s nothing offensive on the sign. I put it there next to the entrance to say this sheep was killed by somebody’s dog and I’d notified the police.
“I asked if anybody knows who it is so I can find out who it is and get to the bottom of it.
“I’m not a nasty farmer, but I want compensating for the damage they’re doing.
“Last year we lost around £600 in the winter.”
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