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Bird-keeper in despair after dog attack kills seven of his chickens

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A ST Mary parishioner has described his despair after seven of his pure-breed chickens – his beloved pets – were killed during a dog attack.

nChicken-keeper Jim Drew said: ’My wheelbarrow is still full of blood. It must have been mayhem’ Picture: JIM DREW

Another bird is missing but presumed dead following the incident. Six of the chickens were killed on private land adjacent to Rue de l’Eglise and another was put down by a vet after being ‘skinned alive’ by the dog.

Owner Jim Drew (65) said the eight birds – almost a third of his once 25-strong brood – were his pets and that no amount of money could bring them back. Six of them had names – Olive, Silvia, Sarah, Siobhán, Freda and Fanny. Two others were juveniles and had not been named.

Jim Drew with injured chicken and show bird, Robin..Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (27264879)

Siobhán and Fanny were prize-winning animals that had won categories at poultry competitions run by the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society.

Mr Drew, a former finance worker, said: ‘It was obviously a vicious and prolonged attack. I came out to pick up their food at about six-ish on Friday and the damage was done. We get dog invasions a couple of times a year – mostly without damage. Our worst attack was when I lost two or three birds, but this is another level.

‘The remains were scattered 100 metres apart and some of the birds were in pieces. Others had no visible injuries, so may have died from heart attacks. My wheelbarrow is still full of blood. It must have been mayhem.’

The Islander, who first started keeping chickens more than ten years ago before taking part in competitions, has contacted both the honorary and States police. He now plans to have a 100-metre fence installed, as well as CCTV.

He believes the dog and owner may have been walking on his private land or on the adjacent Rue du Motier prior to the attack.

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‘The chickens are free-range at the back of our house. They have about two vergées of land. We get dog-walkers on the land, even though it’s private, and occasionally I will shout across to the them and ask that their dog is kept on a lead.

‘The best I can interpret is that the dog has got away from its owner and gone on a killing spree. It’s a big dog, as you can see from the footprints.’

He added: ‘I’ve called the police and they have been very helpful. What I would say to the owner is at least pluck up the courage and decency to knock on our door and say they are dreadfully sorry. They cannot fix it, but it helps us know that at least they know they have done something wrong.

‘But to just skulk off is cowardly. They cannot write a cheque to make it better – they were my pets – but don’t just skulk off.’

Mr Drew urged dog walkers to keep their pets on leads when walking near livestock.

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire
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