Dog owners are being urged to keep their pets under control after two lambs were killed on a Northamptonshire farm.
Police were called to the Cottesbrooke estate earlier today (March 21) after the deaths were reported.
Officers from the force’s Rural Crime Team are reminding owners they have a responsibility to keep their pets under control, and that dogs chasing livestock can legally be shot dead by farmers.
PC Abbey Anstead said: “Every year we remind dog owners and walkers of the repercussions of livestock worrying, and sadly every year we still see animals who are killed as a result of it.
“Although the images are naturally upsetting, we’ve taken the decision to release them to bring it home that this is a problem happening here and now in Northamptonshire.
“Finding dead lambs, or any animal killed this way, is just awful for farmers, and especially when one simple thing – a lead – could have prevented their deaths.
“I’d ask all dog owners to act responsibly, do the right thing and help to protect all animals by making sure their pets are kept on the lead and under control around livestock.”
She added that incidents of livestock worrying should be reported to police on the non-emergency 101 number. If a dog is in the process of worrying livestock and cannot be stopped, dial 999.
Anyone who shoots a dog to prevent livestock worrying must notify police within 48 hours.
Last year Northamptonshire Police received at least 30 reports of livestock worrying, including instances of sheep found dead or injured.
The force has released these tips for safe and responsible dog walking around livestock:
- Keep dogs on a lead and under control when walking through fields of livestock
- Always stick to public rights of way and leave all gates as you found them
- If you live beside land where livestock is grazed ensure you know where your dog is at all times, and keep your property secure so your dog cannot escape
- Cows can be curious and may follow walkers. If this happens, keep facing the animal and move calmly and slowly, don’t turn your back to it or run
- Steer well clear of young animals and do not try to pet them. Cows with calves will be protective and may become aggressive
- If you feel threatened by cattle when with a dog, let go of the lead so you and the dog can get to safety separately