Hastings sheep attack: Owner of dogs spoken to by police

The owner of two dogs which attacked more than 30 sheep has been identified and spoken to by officers, police have confirmed.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 2:09 pm
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 3:10 pm
A dozen sheep were killed in a dog attack at Hastings Country Park. Picture supplied by Hastings Borough Council

A dozen sheep were killed during the attack at Hastings Country Park on Sunday morning (March 3).

Another 20 suffered dog bite injuries and were attended to by the vet.

According to police, the two Alsatians, whose owner was not present, were shot dead by the farmer who was responding to the attack.

Sergeant Tom Carter said: “The farmer reluctantly had to shoot the two dogs after they caused fatalities of a number of sheep.

“We urge people to keep their dogs on a lead while they are walking in rural areas and around livestock. So often in these incidents the owners are horrified by what their dogs have done, but they have to accept that even the most docile of pets can quickly turn into a killer given the opportunity.

“We invariably see a rise in sheep-worrying incidents as spring and summer approaches as more dog owners head for the countryside to exercise their pets.

“A farmer can legally shoot a dog that is chasing livestock and seek compensation from the person responsible for the animal, so please don’t take the risk.”

A police spokesman confirmed the owner of the dogs has been identified and spoken to by police.

The incident remains under investigation and police would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information to report online or call 101 quoting 327 of 03/03.

Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for Hastings Borough Council’s environmental services and chair of the Hastings Country Park Management Forum, described Sunday’s attack as ‘absolutely tragic’.

He added: “We have never suffered such a devastating dog attack at the country park.

“The police are investigating to find the owners of the dogs and the reason why they were out alone.

“Everyone who has a dog should keep their dog on a lead when near any fields at the country park.”

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