Cotswolds: Deers being culled as dogs without leads chase them into fencing

Some of the images show the severity of the injuries caused by dogs chasing deer. Credit: Twitter / @GlosPol_Rural

A large number of deer are being culled in the Cotswolds after getting caught in fencing when being chased by dogs off the lead, according to Gloucestershire Police.

Officers from the Rural Crime Team issued a warning to pet owners on Sunday 4 April.

In a tweet they shared pictures of some of the leg injuries deer are being found with.

According to the force, it means too many of them are having to be culled.

A spokesperson said: "A great number of deer are being culled in the Cotswolds due to leg injuries after getting caught in fencing.

"Deer can jump fencing without effort. However, if they're chased by dogs, they often run into the fences. Keep dogs on a lead around wildlife!!"

The latest warning follows days of repeated pleas from the force to keep pets on leads.

In March the force released graphic photos of a sheep that had been killed by a dog not on a leash, in a bid to remind pet owners of the risks.

Officers recently installed signs along popular walking routes telling owners: "Always keep your dog on a lead around sheep."

There have been several reports to Gloucestershire Police of animals being attacked by dogs this year.

When walking in rural areas, dog owners are advised to always keep their pet on a lead and remain vigilant of other wildlife in the area.

By law, a landowner is able to shoot a dog which they believe is worrying sheep, as a lost resort to protect their livestock.

Police must be notified within 48 hours if this course of action is taken.

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