WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT - ‘Dogs will be shot’ warns Heath and Reach farmer

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Farmers have been forced to guard their sheep in the freezing early hours of the morning after a spate of horrific dog attacks.

On January 2, a husky dog was shot dead in Heath and Reach after killing two rams and a second dog was seized by police.

A sheep after last week's attack

A sheep after last week's attack

And early last week a neighbouring farmer suffered attacks on his sheep three days in a row, culminating in two having their necks ripped open on Wednesday morning.

The same farmer also lost 14 lambs and five ewes in a dog mauling as reported by the LBO on December 13.

He said: “I had a phonecall from a neighbour to say there had been another dog attack. There were seven bites and two with their necks ripped open who had to be destroyed. This was at 5.20am on Wednesday.

“I’ve now got four ewes lying in a barn on a course of antibiotics and it’s touch and go at the minute.”

The farmer said that after 15 years without incident, there had been six attacks on his sheep in the last eight weeks. He estimated the loss to be around £5,000.

He added: “It’s a lack of care and attention, the dog walkers don’t keep control of their animals. They take them into the woods and let them run loose.”

Now, a sign has been erected on land adjoining to farmer’s field, warning dog walkers their pets may be shot if they go after livestock.

A report published last week by Sheepwatch UK found that there were over 15,000 dog attacks on sheep in the UK last year – ten times the number previously estimated.

Bedfordshire Police are preparing a statement.