A DISTRAUGHT farming family is counting the cost of the latest horrific attack by dogs on their prize-winning sheep.
Three premier rams sustained life threatening injuries and the additional 17-strong flock was left traumatised by the attack at a field at Waterside, Greenfield.
Claire Crowther, daughter of the Saddleworth farming dynasty, took to social media in a bid to trace the owners of the dogs.
She said: “Somebody must have seen something as it’s obviously been a prolonged attack to cause so much damage to some of the rams.
“Three of the rams required immediate veterinary treatment and if anybody saw the dogs or owners in the field please send the descriptions.”
Her father Christopher said: “The rams are tough but they are very vulnerable when dogs get among them.
“I reckon there must have been more than one dog and they must have been very strong.
“The injuries to the rams were really vicious and sustained. It’s amazing they survived.”
Angela Bloomfield, Mr Crowther’s partner, added: “The injured rams had panicked and left the field. We found them covered in blood in a resident’s garden. It was a dreadful mess.
“This kind of attack on vulnerable animals is totally devastating. The dog owners should be accountable.”
Last April, Angela was at the scene of a mindless dog attack when, in just one day, 12 lambs were killed at Fairbanks Farm, Diggle.
A few weeks ago sheep farmer Darren Hough hosted a mini summit at his Saddleworth farm with local MP Debbie Abrahams, police and National Farmers Union representatives to examine how to protect farm livestock and safeguard property.
But days later Mr Hough found a dead ewe with horrific wounds from a dog worrying incident in one if his fields.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) has targeted agricultural events and shows to promote responsible dog ownership to reduce incidents of sheep worrying.
Their spokesperson said: “We need to continue to build positive relationships with the dog-owning public to ensure improved behaviour of the minority of dog walkers that allow their animals to run free around livestock, often with devastating results.
“We share the frustration of our members about the number of completely avoidable attacks on sheep but browbeating the public and portraying negative messages about shooting dogs is not an effective message.
“We want to share a positive message about dog owners enjoying the beautiful landscapes in Britain, which are created by the hard work of sheep farmers, and to do so responsibly and consider the impact an attack can have on farmers business and livelihood.”