Leicestershire Police are urging dog owners to take responsibility for their animals and keep their dogs on a lead when around livestock.
Sergeant Nick Woodrow, force lead for Rural Crime said: “Every year we get a number of reports of livestock worrying which can have serious effects on the animal including stress, injury, abortion and death.
“It can also have a devastating impact on the owner with veterinary cost or loss of income, never mind the upset of seeing their animal suffer.”
“To stop such incidents occurring, we are advising dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead and under control when walking through fields of livestock, and to always stick to the public rights of way.”
Livestock worrying is a criminal offence and can result in a £1000 fine. The Animals Act entitles the owners of the livestock, the land owner, or those acting on their behalf, to shoot any dog if they believe it is the only reasonable way of stopping it worry livestock. The police must be notified with 48 hours if this action is taken.
Sergeant Woodrow added: “Livestock worrying doesn’t just occur if a dog attacks a sheep, but can also include chasing livestock, or not being on a lead in a field or enclosure in which animals are kept. It is the owner’s responsibility to keep their dog under control. ”
Although sheep are usually the target for livestock worrying, the law also covers cattle, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, mules, chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks.
Please report incidents of livestock worrying on 101.