Levisham farmer Robin Mackley’s heartbreak as dogs terrorise his sheep

York Press: Farmer Robin Mackley with PCSO Annie Simpson at Levisham Farmer Robin Mackley with PCSO Annie Simpson at Levisham

A FARMER has told of his heartbreak at having his sheep “torn to pieces” by dogs and has warned that he may have to take drastic action if the problem continues.

Levisham farmer Robin Mackley is urging people to keep their dogs on leads when walking through fields with livestock in after loose dogs have tormented and killed his sheep, damaging his livelihood.

“It is absolutely heartbreaking to see my sheep tormented and torn to pieces,” he said.

“At about £100 a piece as well it’s knocking my pocket. If we lost one a month that’s going to be £1,200 by the end of the year.”

Mr Mackley estimates that dogs let off by their owners while walking on the moors have killed about 50 sheep in the area over the past ten years. The most recent killing he says was on February 20 earlier this year.

He said: “We had 11 killed in Levisham one day and they are often killed in twos and threes at a time.

“We notice it most when we are shearing the sheep and we find wounds and dog bites on them and you just think, ‘oh my god’.”

PCSO Annie Simpson, of North Yorkshire Police, said that police have received several complaints on the issue and wants to remind people that letting dogs off in a field with livestock is a criminal offence.

She said: “Any person who allows a dog to worry livestock on any agricultural land is guilty of an offence under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953.

“This also applies to any dog chasing livestock in such a way that may cause injury or suffering and in the case of females, abortion.”

Mr Mackley said that although he does not want to harm dogs, if the problem continues and he catches dogs trying to kill his sheep he may have to shoot them, as he is legally entitled to do so under Section 9 of the Animals Act 1971. North Yorkshire Police have given Mr Mackley signs to display, warning people not to let their dogs off their leads with livestock around.

Comments (13)

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8:33am Thu 27 Mar 14

pinkbatgirl says...

At this time of year especially, any sheep that are pregnant and are worried by a dog will have a still birth which costs the farmer even more!
At this time of year especially, any sheep that are pregnant and are worried by a dog will have a still birth which costs the farmer even more! pinkbatgirl
  • Score: 7

8:47am Thu 27 Mar 14

mrcharly says...

Someone lend him a paintball gun. Won't kill the dogs, will scare them and the owners will have a tough time explaining the paint on the dogs . . .
Someone lend him a paintball gun. Won't kill the dogs, will scare them and the owners will have a tough time explaining the paint on the dogs . . . mrcharly
  • Score: 6

9:03am Thu 27 Mar 14

twotonethomas says...

Prime Saltersgate Hunt country, can he be sure that their hounds aren't responsible for some of the attacks, as you never see them on leads?
Prime Saltersgate Hunt country, can he be sure that their hounds aren't responsible for some of the attacks, as you never see them on leads? twotonethomas
  • Score: 6

9:08am Thu 27 Mar 14

chelk says...

Dog owners do not seem to understand that dogs can be dangerous and not everyone likes dogs some people are very scared of them. All dogs when outside of the owners property should be on a Lead if not the owner should face a heavy fine.
Dog owners do not seem to understand that dogs can be dangerous and not everyone likes dogs some people are very scared of them. All dogs when outside of the owners property should be on a Lead if not the owner should face a heavy fine. chelk
  • Score: 1

9:28am Thu 27 Mar 14

Yorkie41 says...

Could it be that his own dogs could be marking the sheep,and that it is not something else killing his sheep.I really can't see any dog tearing sheep apart,unless there was possibly a pack of dogs.So I am keeping an open mind on this story, and at the same time sympathizing with the farmer.
Could it be that his own dogs could be marking the sheep,and that it is not something else killing his sheep.I really can't see any dog tearing sheep apart,unless there was possibly a pack of dogs.So I am keeping an open mind on this story, and at the same time sympathizing with the farmer. Yorkie41
  • Score: -25

4:00pm Thu 27 Mar 14

spottycow says...

As a dog owner i keep dogs on a lead when out among livestock , Y ou have the RIGHT to SHOOT DEAD these IDIOT OWNERS PETS MR FARMER . I WOULD
As a dog owner i keep dogs on a lead when out among livestock , Y ou have the RIGHT to SHOOT DEAD these IDIOT OWNERS PETS MR FARMER . I WOULD spottycow
  • Score: 1

4:17pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Yorkie41 says...

Yorkie41 wrote:
Could it be that his own dogs could be marking the sheep,and that it is not something else killing his sheep.I really can't see any dog tearing sheep apart,unless there was possibly a pack of dogs.So I am keeping an open mind on this story, and at the same time sympathizing with the farmer.
I would expect the farming fraternity to mark my comments down but I do know after 70 of looking after Collies what their traits are, I was in fact trying to offer an other explanation. having said that anyone who walks there dogs where farmers have their cattle simply get what comes to them.I still would not rule Foxes out on this case.
[quote][p][bold]Yorkie41[/bold] wrote: Could it be that his own dogs could be marking the sheep,and that it is not something else killing his sheep.I really can't see any dog tearing sheep apart,unless there was possibly a pack of dogs.So I am keeping an open mind on this story, and at the same time sympathizing with the farmer.[/p][/quote]I would expect the farming fraternity to mark my comments down but I do know after 70 of looking after Collies what their traits are, I was in fact trying to offer an other explanation. having said that anyone who walks there dogs where farmers have their cattle simply get what comes to them.I still would not rule Foxes out on this case. Yorkie41
  • Score: -5

4:58pm Thu 27 Mar 14

twotonethomas says...

Yorkie41 wrote:
Yorkie41 wrote:
Could it be that his own dogs could be marking the sheep,and that it is not something else killing his sheep.I really can't see any dog tearing sheep apart,unless there was possibly a pack of dogs.So I am keeping an open mind on this story, and at the same time sympathizing with the farmer.
I would expect the farming fraternity to mark my comments down but I do know after 70 of looking after Collies what their traits are, I was in fact trying to offer an other explanation. having said that anyone who walks there dogs where farmers have their cattle simply get what comes to them.I still would not rule Foxes out on this case.
An ignoramus who 'wouldn't rule out foxes'.

Some people wouldn't rule out foxes if the farmer was complaining that his hay bales had been set on fire and his tractor stolen!
[quote][p][bold]Yorkie41[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Yorkie41[/bold] wrote: Could it be that his own dogs could be marking the sheep,and that it is not something else killing his sheep.I really can't see any dog tearing sheep apart,unless there was possibly a pack of dogs.So I am keeping an open mind on this story, and at the same time sympathizing with the farmer.[/p][/quote]I would expect the farming fraternity to mark my comments down but I do know after 70 of looking after Collies what their traits are, I was in fact trying to offer an other explanation. having said that anyone who walks there dogs where farmers have their cattle simply get what comes to them.I still would not rule Foxes out on this case.[/p][/quote]An ignoramus who 'wouldn't rule out foxes'. Some people wouldn't rule out foxes if the farmer was complaining that his hay bales had been set on fire and his tractor stolen! twotonethomas
  • Score: 3

6:28pm Thu 27 Mar 14

granny sue says...

My young granddaughter was trampled by a cow on a right of way. She had 2 broken legs and the ensuing nightmares are still with her. The cow was left in the field for a further 2 weeks despite us asking for it to be moved. The farmer concerned never asked how she was or contacted the family.
My young granddaughter was trampled by a cow on a right of way. She had 2 broken legs and the ensuing nightmares are still with her. The cow was left in the field for a further 2 weeks despite us asking for it to be moved. The farmer concerned never asked how she was or contacted the family. granny sue
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Thu 27 Mar 14

granny sue says...

I also forgot to say that the police were totally uninterested from the top down.
I also forgot to say that the police were totally uninterested from the top down. granny sue
  • Score: -1

6:56pm Thu 27 Mar 14

twotonethomas says...

That's most farmers and police for you granny sue!
That's most farmers and police for you granny sue! twotonethomas
  • Score: -4

11:37pm Thu 27 Mar 14

granny sue says...

Its just interesting that for a sheep the police will walk into a field in the middle of no where yet couldn't get their backsides 500 yds up the road from the police station to see my granddaughter.
Its just interesting that for a sheep the police will walk into a field in the middle of no where yet couldn't get their backsides 500 yds up the road from the police station to see my granddaughter. granny sue
  • Score: -2

1:26pm Sat 29 Mar 14

levishamresident says...

50 sheep killed in the area in the past 10 years. 11 killed on one occasion. 2-3 at a time. Seems to me that we are talking about less than 15 incidents over 10 years. I don't condone the killing of any animal but I think this number is minor compared to the number of sheep killed by cars on Levisham Moor so are we now planning on banning cars from the moors.
Seems to me that this signage is a step too far. I also question the legality of it on moorland. The sign specifically says Dogs in a field and the moorland is not fenced so is it really a field?
50 sheep killed in the area in the past 10 years. 11 killed on one occasion. 2-3 at a time. Seems to me that we are talking about less than 15 incidents over 10 years. I don't condone the killing of any animal but I think this number is minor compared to the number of sheep killed by cars on Levisham Moor so are we now planning on banning cars from the moors. Seems to me that this signage is a step too far. I also question the legality of it on moorland. The sign specifically says Dogs in a field and the moorland is not fenced so is it really a field? levishamresident
  • Score: 2

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