Police have reminded dog owners to be responsible when walking the dogs following reports of attacks on livestock in the area.
A recent dog attack on Dartmoor caused a pregnant ewe to be put down recently.
PC Phil Johnson from the Teignmouth Crime Hub, said: “We are currently investigating a particularly nasty dog attack on a pregnant ewe this week near Holne in Dartmoor, which led to the animal having to be put down due to the severity of the injuries it suffered. This incident took place at around midday on Tuesday the 14th of February.
“The dogs responsible were being walked off the lead in the area and therefore the owner was not in control. We are urging for the dog owner to come forward and to immediately call 101 quoting crime number CR/011095/17.
“Not only is this incredible upsetting for the animals, this is also deeply distressing to the farmer. This particular farmer has had his livestock attacked 10 times in the past year and all of these incidents are preventable.
“Whilst the images we have released in connection to the Holne sheep attack are distressing, it is important to highlight what can happen if your dog is out of control.”
PC Johnston also has a warning to dog owners in general in relation to their responsibilities to livestock when walking their animals.
“If your dog attacks livestock, you as the owner could be responsible for this crime. We see a rise in these incidents during the spring and lambing season, and this is when livestock are at their most vulnerable.
“Not only could you be breaking the law, a farmer has the right to protect his livestock. If your dog is roaming free and bothering animals on the farmers land, your dog could be shot. On top of that, you could also be liable for the costs of the damage your dog has caused to the livestock if the farmer wished to take civil action against you.
“No matter how well trained or docile your pet is, the temptation to chase is a natural instinct that is sometimes hard for a dog to suppress. The advice to dog owners is simple: exercise responsibly and keep your dog on a lead when near livestock.”
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