Police are appealing for witnesses after a number of sheep were attacked and killed at a farm in Nash Lane, Scaynes Hill.
About 16 sheep have been left dead in the incident at Pegden House Farm which happened sometime between 1am and 4am on Friday (20 November).
Sussex Police’s Rural Crime Team (RCT) said they suspect a large dog, possibly from the local area, jumped into the field and attacked the flock of sheep.
Sergeant Jon Attfield from the RCT said:
“We want to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time of this incident.
"This appalling attack has left the sheep owner with a reduced livelihood, which is particularly distressing during the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown, and we need the public’s help in bringing the culprit to justice.
"Sheep worrying and attacking a sheep is a crime and we take it very seriously in Sussex.
"We urge people to keep their dogs under control and certainly on a lead while they are walking in rural areas and around livestock.
"So often in these incidents the owners are horrified by what their dogs have done, but they have to accept that even the most docile of pets can quickly turn into a killer given the opportunity.
"A farmer can legally shoot a dog that is chasing livestock and seek compensation from the person responsible for the animal, so please don't take the risk."
Police said they are stepping up patrols for the local areas this weekend to provide the rural and farming communities with visible reassurance.
If you have any information that can help this investigation, please report online or call 101, quoting serial 229 of 20/11.