Police are reminding dog owners to make sure they have control over their dogs when they are walking in the Cheshire countryside.
The advice comes after a sharp rise in livestock worrying offences, with family dogs who have never done this before, suddenly bolting and chasing sheep, which in some cases they spotted three fields away.
PCSO Pam Graham said:
“The owners in some cases have been left shocked by the fact their lovely family dog has suddenly, completely out of character, attacked or chased sheep to the point the sheep have either died of fright or aborted their unborn lambs.
“I’d simply urge owners – no matter how reliable you think your dogs are – keep dogs on a lead near livestock. It’s better to be safe than sorry by using your lead to control your dog. This should avoid not only the devastation and financial cost to the farmer who has lost his or her sheep, but the trauma to the dog owner from their dog’s actions, and the thought it could have been shot to prevent further devastation.
“We want everyone to enjoy the countryside safely and responsibly- take a look at the countryside code to see how you can do your bit.”
To find out more about how to keep you, your pet and farm animals safe visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code