Sixteen lambs killed in suspected dog attack in Fife

Sixteen lambs have been killed in a suspected livestock worrying incident in Fife, following a call by the sheep sector for more action to tackle the crime.

Police Scotland are appealing for more information following the incident, which also left four injured in a field in Kelty.

Officers believe the lambs were attacked by at least one dog, with the estimated value of the damage around £7,000.

Six lambs were found dead on the farm, and 10 were so severely injured they had to be put down.

The suspected dog attack happened at Blairadam Farm between 10.30am and 1.30pm on Monday 3 April.

Police Inspector Stephen Gray said such attacks were 'a considerable cost' to farmers.

He said: “Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of the incident and we are appealing to anyone with information to come forward.

“Dog owners could face prosecution if their dog attacks livestock so we are urging them to keep dogs on a lead when walking near livestock as well as making sure they do not run or escape into fields on their own.

“I am asking all dog owners to be considerate. Please remember that it is your dog and your responsibility to keep them under control.”

The lambing season has started and worrying can cause stress to sheep that can result in them losing their lambs, as well as injuries that can lead to their death.

But a lack of action by the government to tackle the crime is putting further risk to animal suffering, the sheep sector recently warned in a letter to Defra.

It follows alarming findings from a survey by the National Sheep Association (NSA) that shows sheep farmers are experiencing an increasing occurrence of dog attacks.

In the survey of more than 300 sheep farmers, 70% had experienced a sheep worrying attack in the past 12 months.

On average, three sheep deaths were reported each year per farmer as a result of dog attacks.