A farmer has threatened to shoot ‘off lead’ dogs after a two-week-old lamb was mauled to death.

Stuart Alderson is taking desperate measures to save his livestock following the latest attack at Paddock Leach Farm.

He has urged owners to keep their pooches on leads whilst walking in the countryside as failing to do so can have dire consequences. 

Stuart said: “I had a two-week-old lamb that was killed by a dog and left to die by the dog owner.

“I have signs everywhere telling dog walkers to keep their pets on a lead because it takes 12 months really to properly get a lamb on the ground.

“Then in 30 seconds of carelessness and selfishness, a lamb can be killed by owners who don’t put their dogs on leads.”

The Bolton News: Dorothy the sheep was mauled in 2018 and vets didn't think she would surviveDorothy the sheep was mauled in 2018 and vets didn't think she would survive (Image: Public)

This week's attack is just the most recent incident on the farm - in the spring of the first coronavirus lockdown, a dog chased a flock of sheep into the water before "savaging" them.

The reoccurring issue not only damages or results in the death of Stuart's livestock but also the farmer's livelihood, with the scare also causing pregnant sheep to lose the lambs they are carrying.

He said: “People are selfish and that is why it happens. Despite my best efforts, it is a continuing problem and people continue to be selfish so I will exercise my rights.

“If a dog looks threatening and it is off the lead then I will shoot it.”

Stuart says he has signs warning dog owners all over the area and is constantly improving fences and security for the sheep but it feels like a "never-ending task".

He said: “I talk to people on a regular basis and tell them this is the damage your dog can do.

“They always say, not my dog, my dog could never do that. I always hear the same story but at the end of the day, it is a dog with instinct.

“If it sees a sheep, it is likely it will chase it and if it’s a big dog it will do serious damage.”

The Bolton News: One of Stuart's prized ewes ­had part of her face ripped offOne of Stuart's prized ewes ­had part of her face ripped off (Image: Public)

Stuart has previously spoken out about the damage dogs have done to his livestock - in 2021 one of his prized ewes ­had part of her face ripped off.

In 2018, one of the ewes, named Dorothy, was one of five sheep attacked by a dog.

One of his sheep had to be put down after the attack and four were badly injured.

Dorothy needed dozens of stitches in her back to heal a large bite wound and vets didn’t think she would survive. Luckily she recovered and a year later, give birth to triplets.

Stuart continued: “There are the expenses and vets fees to pay after each attack. Then, if they end up dead, you have to get the carcass collected and it is very upsetting.”

The Bolton News: Stuart and some of his sheep, including a fully recovered Dorothy Stuart and some of his sheep, including a fully recovered Dorothy (Image: Public)

Stuart has said after the last incident he won't contact the police as he felt they had been “less than useless”.

The Bolton News: Stuart's warning sign Stuart's warning sign (Image: Press release)

Stuart has now put up a new sign marking where the lamb was killed and warning dog owners that if pets aren’t kept on leads, they will be shot.

Greater Manchester Police was approached for comment.

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