Police have issued out a warning after out-of-control dogs are thought to have killed six sheep on a Somerset farm.
The incident happened at a farm on Glastonbury Tor on Thursday (August 8).
One sheep was found dead and five more had to be put down following the attack.
The police and RSPCA are stressing the importance of keeping dogs under control at all times when walking in the countryside.
Alison Sparkes, animal welfare officer at the RSPCA, said: “Sadly we think these injuries were caused by local dogs who were let off the lead and became out of control.
“Whilst the vast majority of people take care as a matter of course, sadly accidents can happen and even the most docile and obedient dogs can get distracted and excited by grazing animals.
“Dog owners should remember it is lawful for farmers to shoot a dog to protect livestock which would be distressing for everyone involved and owners could face a police prosecution if their dog is caught worrying livestock.”
Sergeant Andy Murphy of Avon and Somerset Police added: “Even if you think your dog is placid and friendly, when faced with a field full of livestock they can be unpredictable.
“It’s simply not worth taking the risk – keep your dog on a lead and away from livestock.
If an owner is found to be responsible for sheep worrying then they may be made to pay for the vet’s bill, prosecution and the strong possibility of the dog being destroyed as a result.