Dogs being walked on a countryside estate in south-west Wiltshire have reportedly chased and killed sheep in recent weeks.
The Fonthill Estate near Tisbury confirmed that the latest incident was yesterday morning, whereby a dog was witnessed chasing a sheep near the lake.
“Last year we reported sheep and lambs being killed by dogs and we are sadly reporting the same again this year”, a spokesperson said.
Adding: “Sheep have been killed recently and reports received today of dogs chasing sheep near the lake.
“This is a working Estate where there are hundreds of sheep grazing around the lake and along the footpaths which run from Fonthill Bishop to Tisbury and beyond.
“It isn’t just ‘nasty’ dogs which chase, attack and kill sheep – keep your dogs on leads to avoid the misery of another death, injury or aborted lamb.”
Wiltshire Police has warned residents to make sure their dogs are on leads around livestock. Worrying livestock, even dogs simply chasing animals, is a criminal offence.
A spokesperson for the rural crime team said: “If you are exercising in the countryside, please stay on the footpath and keep dogs on a lead around livestock.
“Livestock worrying isn’t just if your dog bites or attacks livestock. It’s also if your dog chases livestock in a way as may be reasonably expected to cause injury/suffering or not having a dog on a lead or under close control when close by, or in a field with livestock.
“Public footpaths are clearly marked – please do not stray from these into farmer’s land. This is trespassing. If you are using a public right of way across agricultural land, please leave gates and property as you find them and stick to the marked paths.”
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