A Welsh farmer has been left devastated after fifty of his ewes were killed in a horrific dog attack.
Gwent Police are investigating the matter, which occurred in North Monmouthshire on Saturday 16 January.
"We are investigating the death of 50 ewes in North Monmouthshire, following a livestock worrying incident," the force said on Twitter.
"The sheep were forced into the corner of a field and died there. This is taken seriously by all rural crime teams."
Farmers across the UK have witnessed a sharp rise in livestock worrying incidents recently.
We are investigating the death of 50 ewes in North Monmouthshire, following a livestock worrying incident where the sheep were forced into the corner of a field and died there. This is taken seriously by all #ruralcrimeteams @FarmWatcherUK— Gwent Police | Rural Crime Team (@GPRuralCrime) January 16, 2021
Report all livestock attacks on 101 pic.twitter.com/bktm0oyaMV
Just this month alone, 18 sheep were massacred in a dog attack in North Yorkshire.
And in Lancashire, a heavily pregnant Highland cow was killed by an out-of-control dog.
Other farms have recently experienced similar attacks. On Christmas Eve, an out-of-control dog killed 30 sheep on a farm in Cheshire.
In a separate incident last month, a loose dog massacred 46 sheep in Suffolk.
The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has called on farmers to report all livestock attacks to the police to 'ensure that the right actions can be taken'.
The union said it recognised that there was no ‘quick fix’ to the issue, and that a mixture of education, campaigning and legislative changes were needed.
FUW Deputy President Ian Rickman said: “As part of our work in this area, we will continue to lobby for real changes to be made to current legislation in order to provide a better deterrent to irresponsible dog ownership and to ensure that the penalties fit the seriousness of the crime.
"However, to get a true picture of the situation and to help us get those legislative changes, we need farmers to report such incidents to the police.”
According to figures released by NFU Mutual, livestock worrying cost farmers across the UK £1.2 million in 2019.