Officers from Kent Police’s Rural Task Force are urging dog walkers to keep their pets on a lead around livestock after more than 20 attacks were reported in four months.

Between 1 December 2020 and 2 March 2021 a total of 24 incidents were recorded where dogs have attacked sheep, cows and other livestock, often leaving the animals maimed and having to be euthanised.

The most recent incident was reported on Monday, 1 March at around 5pm in Loose, Maidstone. Two sheep were attacked by a dog with one of them suffering an injury to its head.

Sergeant Darren Walshaw said: ‘We are now in the early stages of lambing season and we have already seen cases where pregnant ewes have miscarried after being chased by dogs. I would ask that owners act responsibly and keep their dogs on a lead whilst they are around farm animals.

‘If you are in charge of a dog that chases or attacks livestock on agricultural land then you could be prosecuted, fined and ordered to pay compensation.

It is also worth considering that under the Animals Act 1971 a person who is acting to protect livestock is within their rights to kill or injure a dog that is attacking their animals.

‘On top of the horrific injuries sustained by livestock in such attacks, incidents of this nature can have significant financial implications for the owners who often incur vets bills and the loss of the animal.’

By Ed