A suspected dog attack at a farm in Westbury left 10 lambs dead and another four seriously injured.

The lambs, at Penleigh Farm in Westbury, were chased into a river and savaged over the weekend, leaving the whole flock traumatised.

The animals were found dead at 8.30am on Sunday by farmer Owen Singer, 33, who runs Penleigh Farm Fresh, near Dilton Marsh, with his father Bill, 63, and business partner Nathan Eyre, 28.

The five-month-old Poll Dorset lambs, which were due to be sold for about £80 to £90 each, were attacked by an animal bigger than a fox, Mr Singer said.

“We found one in the river and then as we went around the field boundary we found another load of them dead in the water,” he said.

“There was a group of more than 300 in the field and they will all be very traumatised by what has happened. I have another four back at the farm that are so badly attacked they will have to be put down.”

Mr Singer said the dead sheep had been bitten and savaged.

He said: “There could be one of three things that has happened here, including someone kicking their dog outside overnight and it has gone and found the sheep, someone letting their dog off the lead and not being able to control it, or someone has let their dog off the lead and enjoyed watching the sheep being chased.”

He said there is a network of footpaths and bridlepaths all over the farmland, which covers a total of 140 acres, with two running through the field the sheep were in.

As the owner of three labradors, he said he cannot understand how a dog owner could be so irresponsible.

He plans to put up posters with photographs of his savaged sheep at each stile along the footpath.

The posters will appeal for people who may have seen something to contact him.

He said: “There are a lot of very responsible dog walkers around here,.

“I am going to ask them to be my eyes and ears and to look out for a loose dog. “I don’t want to have to say this, but if I caught one in the field then I would have to shoot it.”

Mr Singer said he also plans to put up signs around the farm, informing any dog owners that there is livestock on the site.