AT least 28 sheep are thought to have died in a spate of attacks on farms in Leigh and Glazebury.
In the most serious incident, eight pregnant sheep were killed overnight and a further ewe had to be put down due to her injuries at Hawkhurst Farm in Glazebury.
It is suspected a pack of four dogs, made up of two Alsatians, one white Alsatian and a Labrador, were responsible for the horrific incident.
The sheep at Keith Roddy’s farm died after having their throats bitten and torn, and Mr Roddy fears further ewes in his flock will miscarry due to the stress of being chased by the dogs.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are investigating the incident, which took place on the evening of Sunday December 28 and the early hours of Monday December 29, and have organised leaflet drops in the area.
Mr Roddy said four farms in the area around the junction of the East Lancs Road and Warrington Road have been targeted recently.
Mr Roddy said: “I’m really grateful to the police for taking this incident extremely seriously. They have been out knocking on doors, dropping off awareness leaflets and have had a very visible presence in the area.
“It was a terrible week in the run-up to Christmas but since the police got involved, no further ewes have been killed and there have been no further incidents.”
Carl Hudspith, spokesman for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), said: “Farmers in the Leigh area need to be especially vigilant until the pack of dogs is found.
“Alert your neighbours in the houses that surround your farms and persuade them to also keep an eye out.
“Dog walkers and families who use Windy Bank Wood could also be crucial in identifying these dogs which obviously know how to kill.
“The ewes killed in this attack were all pregnant which will have a financial impact on the farmer involved but more importantly there is also a real human loss as farmers care about their animals and their welfare.
“Having to recover the savaged bodies of these helpless ewes must have been heart-breaking.”
Anyone with information about these incidents should contact police on 101 or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.