The lambing season is well under way in Gloucestershire and would like to remind dog walkers to be extra vigilant with their pets, and make sure they are under control on farm land.
Every year farmers lose some of their flocks because of attacks by dogs, either on the pregnant ewes or the newborn lambs.
This is distressing for the animals. who sometimes suffer horrendous injuries, but also represents a loss of revenue for the farmer.
The golden rule is keep your dog on a lead in all places where you know, or think, there are farm animals or avoid them completely.
If your dog does break free and chases sheep report it to the farmer, even if there is no apparent sign of injury.
The stress of being chased can cause a ewe to miscarry and if the farmer is aware he can at least keep an eye on her.
It is an offence to allow a dog to worry livestock and farmers have legal rights, under certain conditions, to shoot the dog if they feel the livestock is in danger – no responsible dog owner would want to risk that!
If you have any information about incidents where dogs have been allowed to worry sheep please call Gloucestershire Constabulary on 101 or email the rural crime team at: RuralCrimeTeam@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk