POLICE are urging dog walkers to keep their pets on a lead near livestock after reports of sheep worrying in Solihull.
There have been two incidents of sheep attacks in Gate Lane, Knowle, and another near the A435 Illshaw Heath in the last few weeks.
PC Andy Timmins, wildlife crime officer based with Solihull Police, said walkers need to be aware of the risk that a dog not on a lead can pose to sheep and lambs as they can chase, attack, maim and kill.
He added: “It feels natural to allow your dog the freedom of the great outdoors – but this freedom, like any other, comes with a certain amount of responsibility.
“Most dog owners would never dream of putting livestock at risk and would be horrified if their pet were responsible for terrorising or injuring other animals.
“Yet a minority either don’t know or don’t care what their responsibilities are.
“Any stress on pregnant sheep can cause them to lose their lambs.
“The only way to be completely sure is to keep your dog on a lead and away from livestock.
Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act it is a criminal offence to let a dog worry sheep and owners and handlers risk arrest and a fine of up to £1,000.
It is estimated that over 18,500 livestock were killed or injured in dog attacks in 2015.
The cost of this to farmers was an estimated £1.1m – up by 35 per cent on the previous year.
Anyone with information should call PC Timmins on 101.