The CLA (Country Land and Business Association) is urging dog owners to ensure their pets are under control around livestock to avoid the risk of sheep being badly injured and killed during the lambing season.
CLA East Regional Director Ben Underwood said: “We would advise owners to keep their dogs on a lead or under close control when walking through fields of livestock, particularly sheep at this time of year, and to always stick to public rights of ways.
“If you live near land with livestock in it, ensure that you know where your dog is at all times, and that your property is secure so your dog can’t escape at any time.
“It is the owner’s responsibility to keep their dog under control and we are also raising awareness about the potential consequences of not doing so.
“It is important that every instance of livestock worrying is reported to the police to allow for a more accurate picture of the scale of the problem to assist police and Government determine what resources and powers are required in order to effectively tackle the problem.
“Where a dog is in the act of worrying livestock and there is, or is likely to be serious damage to those livestock, call police on 999.”