Farm near Lancing falls victim to another dog attack on sheep

A farm in Coombes has again been the victim of a dog attack on its sheep.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 3:19 pm

On Thursday, April 15, a lamb which was just two weeks old was attacked at Applesham Farm in Coombes Road, but sadly there was no sign of the offending dog or owner when it was found.

It comes after a ewe was ‘horrifically attacked’ by two dogs at the farm during the same month. It had to be put down by a vet because her injuries were too severe.

Hugh Passmore, who owns and runs the farm with his uncle, Christopher, said: “I was turning out the ewes and lambs again and they were all on one side of the field so I knew something was wrong.

Hugh Passmore, of Applesham Farm in Coombes, near Lancing
Hugh Passmore, of Applesham Farm in Coombes, near Lancing

“I found the lamb which was in a lot of shock and had blood on it. We called the vet out and it had to have seven stitches and was put on a lot of antibiotics. Fortunately it has recovered but it went through quite a lot of trauma.”

Hugh, who has long supported calls for changes to the law on dog walking, said unfortunately the message about keeping dogs on leads was still not getting across.

“It is frustrating. It wastes our time and an animal is injured,” added the 50-year-old. “It has got to that stage where I think, what can we do? It is probably a minority of people but they need to realise that they can’t just let their dog off the lead and not pay any attention to it.”

He said he was seeing less people out walking now following the relaxation of covid rules, which was promising.

Jenny Flake (formerly Passmore) runs Church Farm in the same road and has also fallen victim to sheep worrying. “We have had so much – it is a nightmare,” she told the Herald.

“Last year was particularly bad. We had dogs swimming across the river and attacking the sheep. Fortunately we haven’t had any killed this year.”

She said she had put up signs warning dog walkers to put their animals on leads and often cautions people on Facebook.

She added: “The rural police team are doing a good job and I think the majority of people are fine but there’s a minority of people – particularly paid dog walkers – who are still not listening.”

Last summer, Coombes Field 4 Dogs opened at Jenny’s farm, which, she said, had been a great success. The pen is secured by a fence and allows dogs to safely run off.