Warning: Some of these images may cause distress.

A heavily pregnant Highland cow was mauled to death by a Rottweiler who had managed to get onto farmland in East Lancashire and terrorise livestock.

The tragic incident happened on Saturday morning in a field in Quaker Bridge in Brierfield

The dog, believed to be a Rottweiler, was shot dead on site.  

Owners of BCS Highland Cattle, who also have another 32 cows, have been left heartbroken as they say the cow, called Lexi, was not just a cow, but a pet, and the incident has left them in as much grief and pain as losing a family member would.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Devastated Jimmy Seed said: "The dog was in the field by itself as there's no public footpath up here and the owner was not with it. 

"We don't know how long it had been in there chasing them but we got there about 10.25am.

"Lexi had damage to her neck and face. She was only four-years-old and was due to give birth at the end of January.

"We are devastated, we show these animals, we are grieving.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"Lexi was like a member of the family, it's not fair. We've lost a member of our family.

"She was like a pet, we could walk her like a dog, she wasn't just a cow..."

When the Seeds were alerted to the attack, they tried to catch the dog to prevent it from hurting any more of the cows, but said it was too aggressive, and they could not get hold of it, so they had no choice but to shoot it. 

The police were contacted and statements were taken, but Mr Seed said he believed the owners of the Rottweiler, while being upset about their dog, had shown no remorse for killing Lexi.

He added: "There was no remorse. They were gutted about their dog...but we couldn't get to it."

Lancashire Telegraph:

The civil law states that farmers are allowed to shoot and/or injure a dog trespassing on their land in order to protect their livestock if they can prove there were no reasonable means of preventing the dog from worrying the livestock; the dog has not left the vicinity; the dog is not under an individual’s control; and there are no practicable means of ascertaining its owner.

Mr Seed said a few of their other cows had been hurt as some were limping and they would need to have them scanned on Sunday morning.

Two of their Heifers are also pregnant as well as one of their Shetland cows. 

Lancashire Telegraph:

He added: "Hettie is due in four weeks time and her calf could be dead.

"To take a full Highland cow down is tragic. It's a tragic, awful incident.

"Please make sure you know where your dogs are at all times, even when you are at home.

"Three animals lost their lives yesterday, a cow, a calf and a dog. This doesn't need to happen."

Hannah-Louise Ormerod, a friend of the Seeds said: "When I ring my friend and hear her sobbing down the phone because a dog has killed one of her heavily in-calf Highland cows, not a sheep, a fully grown heavily pregnant cow, it tends to boil my blood.

"I’m heartbroken for her and furious, this isn’t just a cow this is our life. 

"This is the irresponsible dog owner's fault and something needs to be done.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"I’ve seen posts every day this week of sheep being attacked and left dead or dying.

"And now two lives have been lost that could have been avoided, and also a dead dog. I think the dog owners should pay full compensation.

"Never have we ever as a farming community heard anything as bad as taking a cow down - this is so dangerous.

Ms Ormerod is now wanting as many people as possible to help change the law and back British farming by signing this government petition.

The police have been contacted for a statement.