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Two dogs kill 33 sheep in gruesome attack in farmer's field

PUBLISHED: 15:23 28 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:38 29 June 2019

33 sheep were left dead or dying after a prolonged attack by two mastiffs in a farm field near Attlebridge. Pictured: The two dogs before they were chased off the field. Picture: Julie Dacre

33 sheep were left dead or dying after a prolonged attack by two mastiffs in a farm field near Attlebridge. Pictured: The two dogs before they were chased off the field. Picture: Julie Dacre

Julie Dacre

Two dogs which were able to get into a farmer's field killed 33 sheep in a gruesome attack.

33 sheep were left dead or dying after a prolonged attack by two mastiffs in a farm field near Attlebridge. Picture: Julie Dacre33 sheep were left dead or dying after a prolonged attack by two mastiffs in a farm field near Attlebridge. Picture: Julie Dacre

On the morning of October 26, 2018, Julie Dacre discovered two dogs belonging to Howie Miller, 36, of Oast House Barn in Alderford, had got into a field in Attlebridge where she was keeping 63 sheep.

The court heard how, after entering the field, Mrs Dacre noticed a small group of sheep huddled in one corner, one of which had "blood around its neck".

She then saw what she originally thought were deer but later realised were dogs which, when approached, started barking.

Fearing for her own safety, as well as her flock's, Mrs Dacre returned to her buggy, called the police and attempted to protect her sheep by driving at the dogs.

Prosecuting, Anna Crayford told the court: "Mrs Dacre hit one of [the dogs] with her buggy. She then saw the other dog attacking more sheep in the field and hit that dog with her buggy."

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Representing himself at Norwich Magistrates court on Friday, Miller pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog worrying livestock.

He told the court how he had last seen his Canary Mastiff dogs the night before they got into Mrs Dacre's field, and said: "They were family pets and breeding dogs... They were wonderful creatures."

Miller said: "I put it to the court the that my dogs stumbled across dead animals and started gnawing on them."

He said the events of October 26 had been "extremely traumatic" for his dogs

"My female dog had a broken leg from being hit by the [buggy]," he said. "[She] had mothered some pups and they were only five weeks old. As far as loss of earnings go my dogs cost more than those sheep put together and they were breeding stock."

Adding that he had destroyed the dogs soon after October 26, Miller said: "I have taken steps to make sure that this can never happen again.

"I'm sorry for everything that has happened... It was a horrible mess, this wasn't my dogs' fault it was my own, they were not aggressive dogs."

Miller was ordered to pay a fine of £400, compensation of £600, a victim surcharge of £40 and costs of £85.

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