POLICE investigating a sheep-worrying offence are warning dog-owners to keep control of their pets during lambing season.
Warwickshire Rural Crime team has been investigating an incident which resulted in the death of a sheep from shock in Shipston.
In August, two large dogs escaped from a garden into a nearby farmer’s field containing 300 ewes.
The farmer was met by chaos as the two dogs were chasing the sheep around the field, knocking them over and attacking them.
Quick action was taken by the farmer to secure the loose dogs who were without an owner.
Despite the best efforts of the farmer, who administered medical treatment, one sheep died from shock.
Officers arrived shortly after and took the two dogs. They set about locating the owner who was later interviewed and fully admitted the offence.
The owner has been convicted of allowing dogs to worry livestock and was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge, a collection order and to pay compensation and fines of £544.73.
With lambing season in full swing, police have given the following advice:
– Always ensure your dog is under control in an area where there are livestock or wild animals.
– Be vigilant during lambing season – always keep your dogs on a lead and avoid any fields with livestock where possible.
– If you are letting your dog off the lead be confident there are no livestock nearby and that you have sufficient methods to recall your dog in circumstances where they run off. If you are in any doubt, do not let the dog off the lead.
– If your dog has access to outdoor space at home unaccompanied, check all fences and boundaries are secure.
A landowner by law – as a last resort for protecting their livestock – is able to shoot a dog they believe is worrying sheep or livestock.
Police must be notified within 48 hours if this course of action is taken.