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Dog walkers reminded farmers have right to shoot

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Kent Police are reminding dog walkers that farmers have the right to shoot dogs that are causing distress to their sheep.

It comes as lambing season gets underway, when an attack on a pregnant ewe could cause farmers large financial losses.

Owners can also be prosecuted if pets are let off their leads in a field of sheep.

Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The force receives an average of six reports of sheep-worrying per month.

"As we enter the lambing season it is especially important people know what can happen if their dogs run loose and kill or injure livestock. Sheep represent a farmer’s income and are often worth a substantial sum. If attacked, the veterinary bills farmers face can leave them substantially out of pocket."

– PC Michael Laidlow of the Kent Police Rural Task Force said:

• Under the Animals Act 1971, a person acting to protect livestock may be able to kill or injure a dog that he/she reasonably believes is ‘worrying’ without incurring any criminal or civil liability.