Two cows had to be put down this week on a dairy farm in the UK after a loose dog broke into their shed and spooked the herd.
Chrissie and Mat Crossman, who farm at Pewsey in Wiltshire, had been forced to keep their cows indoors due to wet weather conditions.
On Tuesday afternoon (May 9), the couple said that “a large black dog” that was off the lead entered their farmyard and ran through the shed “scaring the cows”.
The presence of the dog caused the 100 cows to panic and “run from one end of the shed to the other”.
During the chaos, two cows fell; one suffered a dislocated hip, while the other had a broken leg.
The three-and-a-half year old cows, both over 150 days in-calf, had to be euthanised.
“In effect that’s four animals gone just like that because of yet another irresponsible dog owner not having control of their dog,” the farmers said.
The couple explained that they run a small family farm and this incident has had a “huge emotional impact” on them.
“We’ve worked tirelessly to get where we are and finally have our own herd of cows and for this to happen to our girls, like it does all over the country with other livestock, on a daily basis is frustrating to put it politely
“Literally everyday we see pictures of dead livestock because of thoughtless dog owners.
“It makes you wonder how these careless people would feel if we entered their property and let our animals kill their livelihood,” they said.
The couple have reported the incident to police. As yet, the dog involved has not been found nor has the owner come forward.
The dairy farmers said that “event the most well behaved, gentle domestic dog needs to be kept on a lead around livestock”.
“This includes footpaths near farms, as you never know where livestock may be grazing or being moved from one area to the other,” they added.
The couple appealed to anyone who sees someone walking a dog near a farm or livestock to remind them to keep their pets on leads.
“Sadly livestock worrying is far too common and is happening more and more often. Something really does need to be done to educate people and make them aware of the horrifying consequences,” the farmers said.