We are urging people once again to keep their dogs on a lead near livestock after another sheep was killed by a dog.
The Malvern Hills Trust and grazier received a report on Saturday 10th December that a dead sheep had been found in a stream at Happy Valley. When the grazier found the sheep it was lying dead in the stream with significant dog bite wounds and a large part of the sheep's shoulder was missing.
Beck Baker, Community and Conservation Officer, said "We are extremely saddened to report that another sheep has been killed by a pet dog on the Malvern Hills. The sheep would have had a horrific end to its life, being chased out of the grazing compartment, down the hill, severely injured by the dog and died in a cold, wet stream."
"Due to the severity of the incident, it is likely that the dog was away from the owner for a significant period and would have been 'missed' by its owner(s). We urge anyone who knows anything about this incident which happened on the evening of Friday 9th / early morning Saturday 10th December to please contact the Trust with information (01684 892002 or email@example.com)."
This is one of 12 livestock worrying incidents reported over the last 6 months, four of which have resulted in the death of a sheep and three have survived bite injuries. This is almost as many incidents as were reported for the whole of 2021 (15 reports).
Livestock worrying, which includes chasing, is a criminal offence and the details of this incident and others have been reported to the police.
John Chance, Malvern Hills Grazier said "To see sheep killed in such an attack is extremely distressing. The sheep will have been so afraid and suffered in its last moments as it bled to death. Even if sheep aren't killed, the act of chasing by dogs causes severe distress to the animals which can result in injury or other complications."
"When attending incidents I often hear the reply "I didn't think my dog would do that". It's important to remember that the dog is the predator and the sheep is the prey. You may think your dog is harmless but the sheep is running for its life."
Witnesses to livestock worrying incidents are encouraged to call the Trust on 01684 892002 to ensure veterinary treatment can be administered swiftly and also to call the police on the 101 non-emergency number or report it online as a record of the offence.
Beck added "We are shocked at the number of incidents reported in recent months. These distressing events can simply be stopped by people putting their dogs on a lead at all times near livestock. We'd like to remind dog walkers that any dog, big or small, docile or aggressive, has the potential to chase or kill livestock so all dogs should be kept on a lead near grazing animals."
"Your dog may never have shown any interest in sheep before but that does not mean that it is safe for your pet to be off the lead around livestock."
To help dog owners plan their walks and know when to put their pet on a lead, Stockwatch is published every week with the locations of the grazing compartments on the Malvern Hills and Commons. This information can be found on the Trust's website, in the Malvern Gazette and on social media (Twitter / Facebook). A weekly Stockwatch e-newsletter is also available with subscribers receiving an email with the locations of the Trust's grazing compartments each week direct to their email inbox.
Visitors to the Hills and Commons should also be aware that much of this landscape is registered Common Land which means that cattle and sheep can be found freely grazing outside the advertised grazing compartments. Unless you are certain that your dog will return immediately when called, whatever the circumstances, the Trust urge you to keep your dog on a lead at all times.
Livestock are an essential part of the management of this landscape. The cattle and sheep maintain the open habitats conserving the geology, archaeology and wildlife found here as well as keeping access and views open for the public.
This incident is preceded by a shocking number of incidents involving dogs chasing and attacking livestock on the Malvern Hills and Commons. Over the last 6 months, the following events have been reported:
11th December - sheep chased on North Hill
10th December - sheep chased off North Hill and killed in Happy Valley
5th December - sheep chased on Pinnacle Hill
24th November - sheep chased and attacked in Lodge Field suffering bites to face and ears
10th November - sheep chased and attacked in Happy Valley. Bite injuries were so severe, the sheep was put down
20th September - sheep chased and killed near St Ann's Well
16th September - sheep found with bite marks on face on the Worcestershire Beacon
21st August - sheep chased onto the Wyche Road
19th August - sheep chased to Edith Walk, Great Malvern
2nd August - sheep chased out of compartment and onto the Wyche Road. Sheep was then struck by a car and died.
22nd July - sheep chased near St Ann's Well
22nd July - sheep found with bite marks near Earnslaw Quarry.