Rural crime officers from Northamptonshire Police have appealed for information regarding a livestock worrying incident which led to the death of a pregnant sheep and its unborn triplet lambs.

The force has issued a reminder to dog owners to keep their pets under control following the incident, which occurred in Upton between 4:00p.m on March 1, and 4:00p.m on March 2.

Rural crime officers said a French bulldog was seen off the lead in Upton Country Park, where it chased a group of heavily pregnant ewes.

One of the sheep later died, along with its unborn triplet lambs, with its death believed to have been due to a heart attack caused by the stress of being chased.

Officers said the dog owner is described as a white man of European appearance and has asked anyone whos saw the incident or who has any information regarding it or the owner’s identity to come forward.

Safety tips

Northamptonshire Police has issued a list of tips for safe and responsible dog walking around livestock following the incident.

These include:

  • Keeping dogs on a lead and under control when walking through fields of livestock;
  • Always sticking to public rights of way and leaving all gates as you found them;
  • If you live beside land where livestock is grazed, ensure you know where your dog is always, and keep your property secure so your dog cannot escape;
  • Cows can be curious and may follow walkers. If this happens, keep facing the animal and move calmly and slowly, don’t turn your back to it or run;
  • Steer well clear of young animals and do not try to pet them. Cows and calves will be protective and may become aggressive;
  • If you feel threatened by cattle when with a dog, let go of the lead so you and the dog can get to safety separately;
  • Dog owners MUST bag and bin their dog’s poo – it carries a parasite called Neosporin which causes abortions in animals and the bags left on the ground can be ingested and cause slow painful deaths, or bailed into silage and eaten that way.