Two XL bully dogs shot dead after killing 22 pregnant sheep - as owner fined

Two XL bully dogs were shot dead after killing 22 pregnant sheep and injuring dozens of others in a livestock attack in North Wales.

The dogs were killed by the owner of the farm, near Wrexham, after they escaped from their home and began attacking the livestock.

The farmer was unable to get the dogs under control - despite several attempts - and opened fire after one became aggressive towards him.

Police say the financial cost of the incident, which took place in March, amounted to more than £14,000 for the farmer.

The owner of the two dogs has since been ordered to pay £900 in fines after admitting to an offence of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control.

David Hughes, 26, from Rhosllanerchrugog, North Wales, also admitted to an offence of being the owner of a dog worrying livestock.

Hughes appeared at Wrexham Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, where he was banned from keeping dogs for five years.

PC Chris James said: "I welcome this result after what was a horrific scene for the victim, who is still suffering the effects of the incident today.

"The emotional and financial impact on the farmer has been considerable.

"Livestock attacks are extremely distressing not only for the animals, but for their keepers too. The costs, both financially and emotionally, for such distressing incidents are wholly unacceptable.

"A dog's owner is the only person who can prevent an attack from happening, and you may have to pay the ultimate price if you cannot control your animal."

There were nearly 22,000 cases of out-of-control dogs causing injury reported last year - up from 16,000 in 2018.

Over the same period, dog ownership has increased 15 percent - from 8.9 million to 10.2 million - according to veterinary charity PDSA.

Earlier this year, the Royal Mail said it had recorded a total of 1,916 dog attacks on staff in the year up to 31 March 2023 - averaging 37 a week and increasing 14% on the 1,673 incidents in the previous year.

Read more:
Couple whose Siberian husky dog mauled their baby to death spared jail
Woman in her 70s dead after dog attack in West Midlands

Meanwhile, a Sky News investigation in 2021 found that more than 1,500 dogs had been destroyed after being detained under the Dangerous Dogs Act in the UK since 2019.

Four breeds are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act; the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasileiro, but other types can be seized if they are dangerously out of control.

The XL bully, also known as the American bully, is not on that list - though there have been calls for it to be included following a string of fatal attacks.

In 2021, 10-year-old Jack Lis was mauled to death in Caerphilly, South Wales, by a dog identified as an American bully or XL bully.

Earlier this year, four-year-old Alice Stones was killed by her family dog in what Thames Valley Police described as a "tragic incident" in Milton Keynes.

The dog was put down humanely after the attack "to ensure public safety". Police have not identified the breed of the dog, however they said it was not one banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In May, Jonathan Hogg, 37, died after being attacked while looking after his friend's dog, reported to be an XL Bully, in Leigh, Greater Manchester.