THE SICKENING scenes of the results of sheep being mauled by domestic dogs is one that we do not portray lightly in this newspaper (page 3). But, if it serves to act as a wake-up call to those in authority who can do something about it, then we make no apology.
Some of the pictures are graphic and will turn the stomach of the most hardened livestock farmer. Pulling a dead and putrefying calf/lamb out of a dam is one of the most depressing and horrible jobs imaginable, but seeing a once healthy sheep with more than half of its face missing and yet still standing, is another level of disgust altogether.
This must act as a catalyst for a more pro-active policing of irresponsible dog owners who, more often than not, walk away Scot-free from the majority of such incidents. It should not be allowed to continue.
We are sure the police officers who witness the aftermath of such attacks must be disgusted that they have, seemingly, little powers at their disposal to deal with the culprits – many of whom are caught in the act, yet still seem to live to kill another day.
It is high time the rights of stock owners overshadowed the rights of pet owners, who seem to be able to escape retribution at every turn. 
At the very least, officers should have the power to order the immediate destruction of offending dogs and that the full weight of the law be brought to seek reparation for damages from their owners.
At the moment, there seems to be an insouciance amongst pet owners that they and their dogs will go largely unpunished. 
It is time the law was given the ‘teeth’ to bite irresponsible pet owners and make them think twice about allowing their dogs to be loose amongst livestock.