*Warning - this article contains graphic images*
A police rural crime team has shared graphic photos of a dog that was shot dead by a farmer after it went on a 'killing rampage'.
Gloucestershire Constabulary showed the images on social media to encourage dog walkers to act responsibly when near livestock.
In the incident, a loose Husky attacked and killed numerous sheep in the Cotswolds.
In the post dated 18 March, the force's rural crime team said: "Is this upsetting and offensive? Probably, but this is what happened.
"The Husky was unfortunately shot whilst on a killing rampage.
"Keep dogs on a lead, it's lambing season."
Is this upsetting and offensive? Probably, but this is what happened. The Husky was unfortunately shot whilst on a killing rampage.— Rural Crime Team - Gloucestershire Constabulary (@GlosPol_Rural) March 18, 2021
Keep dogs on a lead, it's lambing season!@NFU_Glos @CLAtweets@nfum@nfum_cotswolds.@natsheep @sheepwatchU. pic.twitter.com/LKPXpuicaZ
Newly-released figures show that the cost of dog attacks on livestock increased by over 10% to £1.3 million last year as the pandemic saw a surge in people visiting the countryside.
Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, if a dog worries sheep on agricultural land, the person in charge of the dog is guilty of an offence.
The Act considers sheep worrying to include attacking sheep, chasing them in a way that may cause injury, suffering, abortion or loss of produce or being at large in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) says it recommends that farmers only shoot dogs as a last resort, as the legality depends on whether a farmer had a lawful excuse for shooting the dog in that individual circumstance.