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Police repeat warning about dogs worrying and attacking sheep

Avon & Somerset Police are asking dog owners to keep their pets under control around livestock, particularly now with the lambing season underway following two attacks on sheep by dogs in separate incidents in Glastonbury and Yarley on Wednesday.

The first incident took place in a field between Street and Glastonbury at Back River Drove, four sheep were killed and a further five badly mauled, and will be most likely put down. The flock fled following the attack and we 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.

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. 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. 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.”

Please remember that if your dog attacks livestock, you could end up being responsible for offences including criminal damage and sheep worrying in addition to potential prosecution for offences under The Dangerous Dogs Act. You might also end up being fined or liable for compensation.

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