A 61-year-old woman from London has been issued with a £500 fine after her dog ran loose and attacked sheep in rural Hampshire.
The livestock worrying incident happened on 18 February at West Tisted Manor Estate in the Meon Valley area, South Downs.
The out-of-control dog ran into a field containing a flock of sheep, attacking them before being caught.
The woman took full responsibility and a Community Resolution order was issued with a £500 fine – payable to the victim by means of compensation.
She was also ordered to sign a Dog Behaviour Contract, part of which is a direction to keep the dog on a lead in a public space, as well as writing a letter of apology.
Hampshire Constabulary has used the incident to raise awareness of ensuring dogs are always kept on leads in rural areas, or face possible prosecution.
"This follows a number of incidents in the East Hants area, in particular the South Downs, whereby owners have been walking with dogs off lead and not under close control.
"They have subsequently chased or attacked livestock and wild animals," Hampshire Constabulary said.
"We would urge that owners are fully in control of their dogs, know where they are at all times and confident that they will return when called."
According to figures released by NFU Mutual, livestock worrying cost farmers across the UK £1.3 million in 2020.
Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 it is a criminal offence for a dog to actively worry livestock.
The crime can significantly impact a farmer financially, in order to treat injuries or replace the loss of livestock, while having a detrimental effect on their business.