Published: 16:59, 03 March 2021
| Updated: 18:43, 03 March 2021
Dog walkers are being urged to keep their pets on a lead around livestock after more than 20 attacks were reported in four months in Kent.
Between December 1 and March 2, there were 24 dog attacks on sheep, cows and other livestock, which often left the animals maimed and having to be euthanised.
The most recent was reported on Monday at 5pm in Loose, near Maidstone. Two sheep were attacked by a dog with one of them suffering an injury to its head.
Sgt Darren Walshaw, of Kent Police's Rural Task Force, said: "We are now in the early stages of lambing season and we have already seen cases where pregnant ewes have miscarried after being chased by dogs.
"I would ask that owners act responsibly and keep their dogs on a lead whilst they are around farm animals.
"If you are in charge of a dog that chases or attacks livestock on agricultural land then you could be prosecuted, fined and ordered to pay compensation.
"It is also worth considering that under the Animals Act 1971 a person who is acting to protect livestock is within their rights to kill or injure a dog that is attacking their animals.
"On top of the horrific injuries sustained by livestock in such attacks, incidents of this nature can have significant financial implications for the owners who often incur vets bills and the loss of the animal."