Farmer tells inquiry of dog attack horror

A public enquiry at St. George's Church Hall in St Annes
A public enquiry at St. George's Church Hall in St Annes
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A FARMER has described the “horrific scenes” as his sheep were savaged by dogs which he claims escaped from a travellers camp.

Alan Robson, from Fairfield Farm, Singleton, said he felt “sick to the stomach” following the attack, which led to one of his sheep having its ear ripped off.

Future

Mr Robson spoke on day three of a public inquiry into the future of the travellers, who have been living on land off Fairfield Road, Staining, since November 2009.

The group is appealing a decision by Fylde Council to refuse them planning permission and serve an enforcement notice ordering them to leave the site and return it to its original condition.

Addressing those packed in to the church hall at the United Reform Church, on St George’s Road, St Annes, Mr Robson said: “We’re extremely concerned about farmland next to the site.

“We keep sheep and we’re constantly in fear for their safety. Two of their dogs were caught worrying our sheep.

“The sheep piled on top of one another in the bottom of a ditch, they were driven in there by these dogs and the sheep were terrified.

“It is our job to look after our animals, not see horrific scenes such as this.”

Another local resident, Michelle Caulton, who runs a five-pitch caravan site on nearby Puddle House Lane, said her main concern was the highways situation in the area which at times made her “feel unsafe”. But she added noise from the travellers’ site – including dogs barking – had also been a problem since they moved onto the land.

“I didn’t hear dogs from down the lane prior to November 2009,” Ms Caulton said.

“It has been a bit quieter in the lead-up to the hearing.

“But I can’t predict when another incident or negative experience might occur.”

The travellers - all members of the same extended family - bought the land but then moved their caravans onto it without seeking planning permission.

They want permission to keep and landscape their 15-pitch site.

Local MPs Mark Menzies, from Fylde, and Ben Wallace, for Wyre, were both due to speak at the inquiry today.