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Police Issue Further Warnings After Dog Attacks on Sheep

14 April 2016

UK - Another branch of the police, this time the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, has asked for dog owners to keep their pets on leads after two more attacks on sheep last week.

In an incident in a field between Street and Glastonbury at Back River Drove, four sheep were killed and a further five mauled, which are likely to die.

The flock fled following the attack and the police assisted with rounding them up. The dog responsible has been found and the owner identified and will be interviewed.

In a second separate incident at Greystones Farm in Yarley, two dogs were discovered on land where there were 12 dead lambs and three injured ewes.

One dog was shot as it tried to attack the remainder of the lambs. Farmers do have the right to shoot dogs who are worrying or attacking livestock but this can be avoided if dogs are kept on leads and owners make sure that they are secure and cannot escape from their homes or gardens, particularly in rural areas.

The owner of the other dog, which escaped following the incident has been traced and the dog has been returned to them. Enquiries are ongoing.

Police officers will be visiting the areas and will be advising dog walkers to ensure that their pets are secure and on leads.

Inspector Jo Ross, who heads up the force’s Rural Crime Team, said: “We take these types of incidents very seriously and will work with farmers and the local community to make sure we always trace the owners of the dogs and take appropriate action. Attacks on livestock, which result in death and severe injury, have a huge impact on farmers and their livelihoods.

“Farmers do have the right to shoot dogs that are attacking or worrying their animals. We don’t want anyone to lose their family pet, and no matter how placid or well behaved dogs are, they still have natural instincts, so keeping them on a lead near farm animals just avoids unpleasant situations for all.

“If your dog attacks livestock, you could end up being responsible for offences including criminal damage and sheep worrying. You might also end up being fined or liable for compensation.

“It’s a really simple message - please keep dogs on leads near livestock - even if they are in a separate field. Please also stick to designated footpaths and make sure you are shutting field gates properly, particularly during lambing season. We don’t want anyone else to lose livestock or a loved family pet.”

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