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Oliver East


"I am a 23 year old, first generation farmer. Having worked as a contract shepherd for several years I have recently taken the leap to farm independently. To get my foot in the door I farm on many small plots of land, not wanted by established farmers. I have grown my number over the past year and will lamb 380 ewes this spring.

"Since November 2022 I have lost 20 ewes on separate occasions. In one recent incident, having been alerted to an attack taking place I found two dead in lamb ewes that had died from exhaustion of being chased, many more needed treatment to raise their energy levels and prevent them and their lambs from dying also.

"I have experienced fence wires being cut and sheep being let out on a daily basis, this started with a gate continually being left open and then ended with the same gate being removed from its hinges when I locked it to stop it being left open! I have been threatened by dog owners on several occasion when I’ve asked walkers to put their dogs on leads.

"Unfortunately, I have not found the police to be at all helpful despite reporting all cases of sheep worrying on my stock. I have received no financial compensation. As my losses have generally been a single sheep at a time it has not been worth making single claims on insurance.

"I feel that the increase in dog ownership during periods of lockdown has made the situation with dog attacks worse. It is concerning that owners are not responsible and are allowing their pets to chase, attack and kill sheep. My worry is that if a dog will attack a large sheep it could do the same to a small child."