Police in Rugby have issued a warning to dog owners that landowners are allowed to shoot dogs to protect their livestock after several sheep were killed in a dog attack last week.

Warwickshire Rural Crime Team issued a statement warning dog owners of the potential consequences of livestock worrying.

We have been out today to yet another sheep worrying incident in Warwickshire with one sheep being killed and another six injured.

“There have been a concerning number of incidents reported in the last few weeks of livestock worrying around the county.

“This week we have had two incidents in different areas of Rugby which have both resulted in horrific injuries to the sheep involved and a number being killed or having to be euthanised because of the wounds inflicted.

“The welfare of the livestock is important, plus a number will be in the early stages of pregnancy at this time of year; in addition to this the farmer’s livelihood is affected and can have serious consequences to their business or breeding stock.”

Advice for dog owners

The officers issued the following advice for dog owners:

If you are exercising your dogs in the countryside please keep to the footpaths, do not go onto private farmland without permission and if there is livestock in the field or nearby keep your dog next to you or under close control, preferably on a lead at all times.

“If you let your dogs loose in your garden or yard, especially if you are not there with them, please ensure that it is secure and that they cannot get out.

“Please also ensure that you ‘pick up after your dog’ and take it home with you or to a dog poo bin.

“Dog mess left in a field can seriously affect the health of the livestock in the field with abortions, internal abnormalities and illness caused from it.”