A LOCAL farmer who criticised the legal system after his sheep were attacked by dogs last month, had three more of his sheep killed last week.

Ian Robertson, of Chawton Park Farm, launched an attack on the British legal system for its failure to allow the immediate destruction of canine killers, after three of his animals were killed outright - 10 more had to be put down, and another 24 were badly injured and required veterinary treatment.

Mr Robertson was angry because, although the police will prosecute owners who allow their dogs to attack sheep, the law states that the animals have to be returned to their owners following the incident, and it can be up to six months before the case comes to court.

ÒDuring that time, given the opportunity, the animals will almost certainly kill again,Ó said Mr Robertson.

The original attack was discovered on Thursday, September 4, and the dogs responsible, which were caught in the act, have yet to be destroyed.

And last Friday, less than two months after the first attack, Mr RobertsonÕs flock was subject to another similar attack.

The alarm was raised after a dead sheep which obviously had been attacked was found by local police on the A31, which borders the field.

On further investigation by Mr Robertson, it was found that 20 sheep had been attacked in all, three of which were killed, three of which needed extensive veterinary treatment, and the rest having to be treated with antibiotics.

Mr Robertson said: ÒWe didnÕt see the attacks taking place on the second occasion, but the wounds bear all the hallmarks of a dog attack. We think it must have happened on the Friday night, but we canÕt be absolutely sure, and we have no idea whose dogs were responsible.

ÒWith the injuries inflicted, the dog responsible wouldÕve been covered in blood, so the owner would certainly have known that it had been up to no good. IÕd like to appeal to the ownerÕs conscience and ask them to come forward.

ÒIt needs to be reiterated to people that they have a duty by law to keep their dogs under control.

ÒOnce a dog has killed, it will do it again and again. No matter how well an owner thinks they can control their dog, if it has has killed before, it will find a way to do it again. The only way to deal with it is to have the animal put down.Ó