Warning on sheep worrying

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Battle police have warned that farmers will shoot dogs that are worrying sheep or livestock after a recent incident at Hurst Green.

A police spokesman said: “We would like to remind residents it is vital that you keep your dog on the lead around livestock, even if you can usually trust it to come to call.

“At this time of year it’s a particular problem because sheep are in lamb and so there’s a risk that dog worrying could cause them to abort.

“We have received a few reports of sheep worrying in the Hurst Green area.

“It is an offence to allow a dog to worry sheep. Worrying includes attacking or chasing sheep and, in some circumstances, farmers are legally entitled to shoot dogs if they are endangering their sheep.

“If you live in or near a farming area, you must make sure that your dog cannot escape from your property, as it may find its way onto land containing sheep.”

There have been incidents of dogs attacking sheep near Rye and at Pett where one farmer lost more than 20 sheep in one night. The NFU says it is an ongoing problem.