Images of two lambs believed to have been killed by a dog have been released in a bid to remind dog walkers of the need to keep their pets on the lead and under control around livestock.
The images are available to view on the Northamptonshire Police website here.
Northamptonshire Police received a report of the deaths of two lambs on the Cottesbrooke estate on Thursday, March 21.
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.
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