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Appeal to dog owners after attack on flock

A FROME farming family is appealing to dog owners to keep their animals under control, after an attack left death, injury, and distress in its wake. 

The attack, which occurred along the River Frome between Wallbridge and Feltham Lane, was made on 15-year-old Frome farmer Ryan Hann’s flock. The frightened sheep caused havoc as their owners desperately tried to recapture them. In addition, the farmer fears that the pregnant ewes will abort their lambs.

Ryan’s mother Susie Hann, a farmer’s wife herself,  explains, “My 15-year-old son saved his money and proudly bought a small flock of ewes.  He then bought a ram, with the plan to produce lambs to sell next spring.  All was well until on Monday morning someone decided that even though there was no footpath, nor right of way through our field, they could take their dog onto our land.  The dog chased the sheep and penned them under the railway bridge in the field by the river.  Some jumped into the swollen river and made it across to the opposite bank, one didn’t and drowned.

“They pushed through the fence on the top side of the field and emerged on the railway line that leads into Frome Station.  We called 999 to inform the police so that they could inform the railway authorities, but not in enough time to stop the train that was coming down the line.  The driver saw the sheep and pulled the train to a stop, but not before it had got to the ewes and as they turned to run away one got hit on its rump.  The driver was very upset by the incident.

“Please can I appeal to all dog owners to read this carefully and think twice before thinking it is ok to just take them into a field to let them have a run around.  Whilst we do not want to stop people enjoying the countryside, people have to respect their surroundings and remember that the farmers’ livelihood is in those fields, so gates are shut for a reason and if there are animals in a field, dogs should be on a lead at all times.”