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Police appeal for local witnesses after sheep killed by dog

WILTSHIRE Police are appealing for witnesses after an incident of livestock worrying left one sheep dead and one badly injured.

Between Tuesday 24th October and Thursday 26th October a dog, not known to the land owner, entered a private field and attacked two sheep. It is unknown if it was accompanied by its owner at the time of the attack or not. The field where the attack happened is in the Melksham area and located between Staverton Social Club and a neighbouring field containing solar panels.

PC Emily Thomas said, “Livestock worrying is a criminal offence and has a significant financial and emotional impact on farmers. It can be distressing and worrying for farmers to see their animals worried or injured.

“It is dog owners’ responsibility to ensure they have control of their dogs at all times. If people are out using the public rights of way with a dog, use a bit of common sense. Use a lead if there is livestock around and don’t deviate from the public byways and foot-ways as potentially you could be trespassing into private land.

“We are appealing for anyone who might have seen someone one acting suspiciously with dogs in the area around these dates. Anyone with any information please contact police by calling 101. Alternatively people can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Livestock worrying is a criminal offence and the penalty can be 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £1,000. Livestock worrying is traditionally thought of as a dog biting or attacking livestock but it also means chasing livestock in such a way as may be reasonably expected to cause injury or suffering; in the case of ewes, this includes abortion or loss or reduction in the number of offspring she has

It also covers not having a dog on a lead or under close control when close by, or in a field or enclosure with livestock.

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