Families watched in horror as two out-of-control dogs savaged a sheep to death at a popular childrens’ farm.
The sickening attack came on Easter Sunday when the powerful Chinese Shar Pei pets broke into an enclosure at Bath City Farm in Somerset.
Armed police and specialist dog handlers raced to the scene and evacuated 20 people while they tackled the dogs.
They managed to capture them without shooting them and put them in separate vans.
But when the dogs arrived at a local kennel it was discovered that one had died, sparking an investigation into its death.
Police Inspector Steve Mildren said: “We sent armed officers and specialist dog handlers to the farm to deal with what was clearly a very serious and distressing incident.
“Other neighbourhood officers worked with farm staff to move visitors away to safety and we put cordons in place to protect the public.
“At considerable risk to our officers the two Shar Pei dogs, which had killed one ewe and which were very aggressive when approached, were contained in a fenced area.
“They were restrained and put into separate vans and taken to secure kennels.
“On arrival one of the dogs was found, unfortunately, to have died and we are investigating the circumstances of that.”
Insp Mildren said the dogs’ owner had been identified and would be interviewing about a number of offences including allowing dogs to be dangerously out of control in public.
He added: “This was a very significant incident that was dealt with promptly and professionally by our specialist officers and which, thankfully, resulted in no members of the public being harmed.
“I would remind all dog owners, whatever the animals’ breed, that they have a legal responsibility for their pets at all times, to keep them under control and not allow them to be a danger to members of the public.”
Farm manager Matt Smail said: “Two Shar Pei dogs came onto our site and managed to get through a very small hole in our fence.
“They attacked a sheep, so we called the police and put into place our evacuation policy.
“It was quite distressing but resolved fairly quickly.”