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Police in Dorset are urging dog owners to be responsible following several reports of livestock worrying in the west of the county.
On Monday, 24 October 2011, two sheep were attacked and killed in the vicinity of Cowleaze Farm in West Bay and two further sheep were killed on land near East Road in Bridport.
Two large dogs were seen nearby and are believed to be responsible.
Police received a further report of livestock worrying at 4.15pm on Tuesday, 25 October 2011. Two Huskies were seen chasing alpacas in the area of Skilling Hill – an adult Alpaca female was killed.
Police officers, assisted by a member of the public, seized the two dogs and placed them in kennels. Yesterday, Wednesday, 26 October 2011, the two dogs were destroyed by vets.
PC Scott McGregor, of Bridport Police, said:
"These recent incidents relate to uncontrolled dogs running loose and killing livestock – the legislation is clear on this matter and it is taken seriously.
"It includes causing injury or suffering to the animals or, in the case of females, the abortion or loss of any foetus through being chased by dogs.
"While the vast majority of dog owners are responsible, police do periodically receive reports of livestock worrying.
"A minority of dog owners consider that a dog running around or among livestock is an innocuous activity and it is not until later that the true extent of the trauma caused has been realised. Dog owners may be oblivious that their family pet is worrying livestock out of their sight.
"My message to dog owners is to be responsible and always ensure that your animal is on a lead when around livestock. Never assume that just because your dog is typically gentle and calm that it could never be a threat to other animals.
"Following this advice will keep you, your dog, the farmer and his livestock happy and healthy. Otherwise you may be held accountable and your dog will pay the ultimate price."
Anyone with any information about livestock worrying is urged to call Dorset Police on 101. Anyone wishing to report a stray or missing dog should contact their local authority.