Workers on a Fife farm were horrified after the owner of a dog which savaged a sheep drove off leaving the animal in agony.
The sheep, which had to be put down because of her injuries, had given birth to quads only days before and had been a hit on social media when a picture was shared of her with the four lambs.
The animal was part of a flock owned by award-winning Ardross Farm in the East Neuk and the attack happened at about 7pm on Monday night at a field between Colinsburgh and Largoward.
It is believed the dog could be one which had been regularly exercised beside the field, though not by being walked in the usual way – a woman had been seen letting the dog out her van, which she then drove down a track while the dog ran alongside.
The sheep’s ears were ripped off and her ear drum torn, leaving her open to infection.
“Normally in these circumstances sheep die of shock but this amazing sheep continued to feed her four lambs while the vet battled to save her,” said Nikki Storrar, of the family-owned farm and farm shop, which last year was praised on television by Gordon Ramsay for its commitment to animal welfare and the quality of its home-reared beef.
“The owner knew what the dog had done as she was seen pulling it from our field, however she notified no one, just left the animal to suffer.
“We only hope no children are ever near that dog having seen first hand what it can do.”
Her sister, Claire Pollock, had just been to check the sheep shortly before the attack.
“We were able to get a vet to her in about 20 minutes but it’s horrifying to think that someone could just leave an animal in agony like that,” said Claire. “If the attack hadn’t been spotted she could have lain there for much longer.”
“Everyone on the farm is devastated,” Nikki said. “No animal should be subjected to that. We were going to put pictures up of her injuries, however decided they were just too horrific to show.”
The incident has been reported to police.
North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins, who is supporting the NFU Scotland’s Take a Lead campaign, said: “This latest attack on sheep on a local farm is shocking; the team at Ardross work so hard to look after their livestock and I am sorry they have had to endure this horrific incident. Attacks on sheep are completely preventable.”
His Scottish Parliament colleague Emma Harper MSP has put forward a new Protection of Livestock (Scotland) Bill. The public consultation runs until May 15.