A pregnant cow suffered horrific injuries after it was allegedly attacked by a dog at a Derbyshire farm.
The terrifying incident is believed to have taken place on Monday, May 7, on Prospect Farm, Buckland Hollow, Heage, where the cow was left bloodied and suffering wounds to its side and tail.
The family who run the farm have been left alarmed by the incident and claim their cow, named Snowheart, was attacked by a dog.
They are now calling on dog owners to be more responsible around farms and they highlighted farmers have the right to defend their livestock if necessary.
Jess Mills, 25, who runs the farm with her father Nigel and sister Olivia, said: “I have been working on the farm for more than 20 years and I have never seen anything this shocking take place in this area.
“I couldn’t believe it when I brought the cows in and saw her in this state.
“Looking at the blood, I think it had been just happened when I brought her in.
“I am pretty sure that these injuries were caused by a dog.
“Whilst footpaths are public and farmers have no issue with that, we ask that they respect our livelihoods and place of work.
“There is nothing more soul destroying than dealing with one of your animals in such a state, knowing that it is because of stupidity and pure ignorance.
“The consequences are so much more than what is visibly seen, the stress of an animal being chased often results in abortion.
“Anyone who says ‘my dog is alright and wouldn’t do that’ poses the biggest threat of all.
“Others see dogs off leads and think it’s okay for them to do the same.
“The dog may go through a stile ahead of you to find stock in a field that weren’t there the day before, the dog may be approached and act on instinct.
“You never know when a dog is going to attack and i think people should keep their dogs on a lead at all times to have control over them.”
Snowheart is currently pregnant with her third calf and is six years old.
Images taken of Snowheart’s injuries show the cow’s body with a blood visible down its right and left sides.
The cow’s tail, which was also injured during the attack, is also covered in blood.
Despite the apparent ferocity of the attack, Snowheart has not lost her calf.
The rights of farmers or landowners to take action are limited and only extend to the use of “legitimate and reasonable means” to protect livestock from attack.
Although this is something the family have thought about, they hope they never have to shoot a pet dog that is attacking their animals.
Jess said: “Farmers do have powers to shoot an animal attacking their stock. I’d love it to be the owners but unfortunately the animal pays for their stupidity.
“No farmer wants to shoot someone’s pet. To prevent both sides from such heartache the solution is simple.
“Snowheart is pregnant and, touch wood, she has not lost her calf after what would have been a horrifying incident.
“Hopefully we can raise awareness about this and encourage people to keep a closer eye on their dogs.”
This story first appeared in the Derby Telegraph.
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