A FARMER has threatened to shoot dogs which are off the lead on his land after the latest ‘gruesome’ attack on livestock.

A pregnant sheep was been left mutilated following a vicious attack in a field near Slape Mill in Waytown in West Dorset.

We are not publishing the images of the attacked sheep as they are too graphic.

A dog being walked in the area is suspected to have carried out the attack. The owner has not come forward.

The sheep suffered severe injuries to its face and rear end, and whilst it survived the attack, it will likely have to be put to sleep as a result of the injuries.

The two lambs it was carrying died in the attack.

Farmer Clive Chubb, who owns the land, was informed about the attack after the sheep was found by a walker.

A farmer is legally allowed to shoot a dog which is threatening their animals and Mr Chubb is warning he will take this action.

Mr Chubb said: “I was extremely angry about the attack when I heard about it. She was found by a walker by the side of a river, she was very scared and the injuries were incredibly gruesome.

"She’s surviving at the moment but might have to be put down because the injuries are so bad.

"She was pregnant with twins, who have been lost.

"It’s incredibly frustrating as it’s very much an avoidable situation. We have electric fences around the field and plenty of signs up saying ‘please keep dogs on leads’.”

He added: “If a dog is found on the site we will shoot it to protect the flock. It’s a shame but these are the lengths we have to go to.”

Mr Chubb discovered the electric fence was down the morning after the attack but didn’t think much of it and fixed it, only to receive a phone call later on to say the sheep had been found.

Mr Chubb believes the issue is a lack of knowledge from many members of the public when it comes to behaving in the countryside.

He said: “It’s mostly a problem of ignorance. If there’s livestock on a field it should be common sense to keep your dog on a lead but obviously people haven’t got that kind of common sense.”

The Gladis Law campaign, which aims to change the law to keep dogs on leads around livestock, began when Gladis, a four-year-old heavily pregnant Highland cow, fell 40 feet to her death after being chased by two off-lead dogs at the farm, near Askerswell.

Read more about the campaign here.

Gladis’ owner Cameron Farquharson of Eggardon Hill farm, is leading the campaign - which saw the bill to give farm animals better protection pass its first reading in the House of Commons last month.

Mr Farquharson said: “This is exactly what we are campaigning for. We want to stop people walking their dogs through fields with livestock off lead, because this is what can happen.

“This land is their home and they need to be protected and safe in their home.”

Mr Chubb added: “I think Gladis Law is a great idea. We need to crack down on this because it costs us farmers a lot of money in vets bills along with trauma to our animals and trauma to ourselves.”

Mr Chubb has reported the incident to the police.

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team urges dog owners to be responsible when walking dogs in the countryside. The team stresses the importance of keeping dogs under control at all times, making sure your dog is on a lead and not allowing them to enter a field alone.