The Cumbria police and crime commissioner has referred to as for canine homeowners to maintain their canines on leads in rural areas after 12 reviews of sheep worrying had been obtained by the constabulary since January.

Peter McCall stated it’s a canine proprietor’s responsibility to make sure that “all canines are saved on a lead when in a area with or close to livestock”.

Since January 1, 2023, Cumbria Constabulary has obtained 12 reviews of canines worrying livestock. Three of those incidents resulted in sheep damage and 4 resulted within the demise of a sheep.

The power warned that canine homeowners who’re discovered by police permitting their canine to be off-lead and worrying animals can face a advantageous of as much as £1,000 and farmers are legally entitled to shoot canines which are endangering their livestock.

“We’re exceptionally fortunate to dwell in a picturesque, rural county with loads of strolling trails that lead by the countryside,” McCall stated.

“Nonetheless, this privilege does include duty. We’ve many farmers and agricultural companies whose livelihoods rely on the well being of their livestock.

“We’ve reached that point of 12 months when many ewes are lambing, and these sheep and offspring are extremely susceptible. Please preserve your canines on a lead, and respect and revel in your environment.”

Chief inspector Lee Skelton, Cumbria Constabulary’s rural crime lead, stated sheep and livestock worrying is a severe problem that may be “very distressing” for farmers and livestock homeowners.

“It’s in a canine’s nature, regardless of how placid they might be, to chase and if sheep are chased they develop into distressed and their intuition is to run, typically leading to horrific damage or demise,” he stated.

“Canine homeowners should bear in mind to maintain their canines underneath management and on a lead round cattle and wildlife.

“We might advise all canine homeowners and walkers to stick to the Countryside Code which provides recommendation on strolling canines responsibly close to livestock and wildlife.”