A FARMER says one of his cows was a ‘centimetre away’ from being killed after a dog mauled three of his cattle whilst being ‘encouraged’ by its owner.

Roy McKellar was shocked when two people with an American pit bull style terrier let the animal off the leash on a vicious attack on the innocent cows at Broom Farm, Stevenston.

The ferocious dog ripped through the herd leader’s chest, which could have proved fatal having just missed the animal’s jugular, late on Sunday afternoon (September 20).

Horrified witnesses have told how the dog’s jaw was locked on to the cow for 10 minutes as other dog walkers and farm workers desperately tried to save the wounded animal.

Roy is furious after the attack, which left other dog walkers who use popular walkway on Dubbs Road terrified.

He told the Herald: “Two people with an American pit bull terrier sized dog allowed the dog to go in and attack our cattle.

“They enticed the dog to chase them and attack them. There were dog walkers who were petrified for their own dogs, it was completely out of control.

“When the vet looked at my cow’s injuries there was blood everywhere. The bite was just a centimetre off the jugular vein, that’s how close she was to dying.

“The dog was on her back – it was like watching a lion bring down its prey in the wild.”

The cow, part of a rare breed of small Dexter cattle, sustained bite wounds to her chest, lips and neck.

The leader of the herd, she bravely defended the other two cows in the field.

Roy is concerned that a similar attack will happen again after an Alsatian dog was spotted aggressively barking at sheep whilst being encouraged by its owner just days later.

He has welcomed the boom in sensible dog-walkers, cyclists and children who pass by the farm, but he fears if the violent dogs and their reckless owners are not caught the result could be far worse.

Roy said: “The owners have no regard for human life, let alone animal life. They see these dogs as a status symbol.

“Members of the public stepped in but there was no attempt made at all by the people responsible for the care of the dog.

“The aggression in that dog was frightening.

“If it’s capable of doing that once. it will do it again/

“It could be a human next time. That dog will seriously injure someone or kill them.”

A police spokesperson said they were investigating, adding: “Further enquires are being carried out by police to establish the dog’s owner.”