RURAL police officers have reiterated a warning against dogs attacking livestock, following a recent incident in Over Tabley.

Dogs were seen loose in the area last Tuesday, July 11, attacking sheep secured in a farmer’s field.

The sheep survived but suffered severe injuries, prompting police to remind people of the impact sheep worrying can have.

PC Richard Walker of the Macclesfield rural team said: “Unfortunately this isn’t the first time that this particular farmer has had his livestock worried.

“For small farmers, in particular, livestock worrying is devastating because it has a huge impact on their productivity and breeding plans.

“This is not just a local issue but a national one, dog attacks on livestock has reached record levels.

“In some cases attacks on sheep by dogs were forcing some farmers out of business while others are having to sleep rough with their flocks to protect them.”

It is an offence to allow a dog to worry sheep, either by chasing or attacking them. In some circumstances, farmers are legally allowed to shoot dogs if they are endangering their sheep - so long as they have a lawful excuse.

Farmers are being urged to regularly check their stock, put up warning signs, maintain boundaries and report any attacks to police immediately. Neighbours should also work together to report offences.