POLICE have issued a reminder to dog owners to keep their animals on leads near livestock after three sheep were killed on a Kingsclere farm at the weekend.
CCTV footage captured two large, unaccompanied dogs attempting to get into a pen containing chickens on the farm at around 2.30pm on Saturday, February 11.
The dogs failed to break in to the pen and three sheep were later found dead on the farm.
Hampshire Constabulary said that two of the sheep received extensive injuries consistent with those of a dog attack. It is believed the third sheep died of shock.
The dogs were described as hounds, with one beige/tan in colour and the other one white.
Pc Vincent Lane, of Hampshire Constabulary’s Country Watch team, said:“The injuries sustained are among the worst I have seen and I am concerned that the dogs’ owners do not appear to have been present throughout the incident.
“It is an offence contrary to the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 to allow a dog to worry livestock whilst on agricultural land.
“The farmer has unnecessary veterinary expenses or, in cases such as this, can lose valuable livestock," he said.
“Typically, the dog owner will witness an often traumatic event and may even be injured in trying to intervene.
The advice comes ahead of the lambing season, with Pc Lane saying that the deaths were entirely preventable.
He issued a reminder for dog owners to be responsible while walking in the countryside or in and around farms to prevent any further unnecessary suffering and loss.
Police guidance includes keeping your dog in sight at all times; ensuring that your dog does not stray off the path or area to which you have a right of access; and ensuring that dogs are kept on a lead (of two metres of less) at all times when near livestock.
Anyone with information about the above incident should contact Pc Lane at Tadley police station on the non emergency telephone number 101, quoting 44170054375.