A DOG went on a rampage near Malmesbury at the weekend, killing and maiming scores of grazing sheep.

Three farmers who have flocks on two fields in Upper and Lower Seagry were called there on Saturday morning to find their animals had scattered into neighbouring gardens, with some stuck in bramble bushes, while others had been forced into nearby ponds and had drowned.

It is one of a number of attacks believed to have been carried out by the same dog in recent weeks, with one farmer, Howard Ford, reportedly having 20 sheep killed in horrific circumstances.

Farmer Robert Strange said he found his flock, which are carrying lambs, with bite wounds, tails bitten off and one with its scalp torn off while still alive.

Three of his flock had to be put down at the weekend, while others are recovering from bite wounds and shock.

Mr Strange said a neighbour rang landowner Paul Leighfield to say a large dog was in the field.

“Paul called the vet as one of my sheep had its scalp pulled off its head so it had to be destroyed. We are just waiting to see now if they are going to slip their lambs because, of course, then we won’t have any income.”

Concern is growing in the village, with others reporting they have lost chickens, cattle and guinea pigs.

Mr Strange, who lives in Tockenham but uses the fields in Seagry in winter, has about 600 sheep with fellow farmer Andrew Cunninghame, of Uffcott, Wroughton.

Sergeant Phil Connor of Chippenham Police admitted it is a difficult matter as it is a civil case and not criminal, so they are unable to force any animal to be put down, and no one has officially accepted liability.

He said: “The police believe we have located the correct dog and dog owner and we are working with these people and have put forward the suggestions of the farmers for compensation and for the dog to be destroyed. If this is not successful we are duty bound to submit the case to the courts under section two of the 1871 Dogs Act.”