'What if this had been done to a child?'
A FARMER near Redruth is calling for dog-walkers to take more responsibility for their pets after one of her pregnant ewes was mauled – and warned that a child could be next.
Carole and Keith Allen, owners of Hope Farm, keep a small flock of sheep in fields on the side of Carn Marth.
But on Boxing Day Mrs Allen was alerted that a terrier had backed one of the in-lamb ewes into a corner of the field and was, she said, "busy biting and pulling at the face of the poor ewe".
She said the dog entered the field through a gate.
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She has now urged owners to keep their dogs on leads when near fields containing farm animals, as laid down in the Countryside Code.
Mrs Allen said: "The dog ran off when we approached.
"Although injured, the ewe didn't need a vet so we were lucky this time."
This is the second time the Allens' flock has been attacked by a dog.
In the first incident a lamb was scalped and had one of its eyelids torn in half and an ear ripped off.
Mrs Allen said: "Yes, we needed a vet, yes, we contacted the police and, yes, we contacted the council, but what can be done after the event?
"After seeing this last attack I can't help but fear this dog will attack again, and maybe next time it won't be a sheep but a small child walking on Carn Marth."
The answer lay with owners, she said: "We can be responsible dog- owners and follow the Countryside Code, keeping our dogs on leads near fields with farm animals.
"It must be of some concern to livestock-owners and families walking with small children that dogs capable of such attacks are loose on public footpaths," she said.
"Alerting the authorities if such dogs are encountered would be a useful act and could prevent a serious accident."