A social media post showing the horrific aftermath of a brutal dog attack has gone viral as dog owners are once again reminded to keep their pets on a lead around livestock.
Gamekeeper Andy Richardson posted the gruesome images on Facebook after a friend reported the incident.
It read: "Sheep mauled, maimed and killed last Saturday by at least one large dog. I would say more than one, possibly 2-6 or more involved.
"What makes this gut wrenching is the area, Inveraray, Argyll. This is a small community so someone knows the dogs involved in this horrific attack.
"Please contact myself with any information, which will be kept in strict confidence, or call the police on 101 mentioning Inveraray sheep worrying case.
"Please share and get these killer dogs found."
Twelve sheep were put down after the attack.
Mr Richardson told Farmers Guardian: "I have been asked to get the pictures out from an entity involved that would prefer to remain nameless.
"Today we will be starting a Scottish Government petition to make all dogs out in the countryside be on leads.
The original post has been shared over 5,000 times and it is hoped the horrific images will prompt dog walkers across the country to take note.
Hundreds of Facebook users have commented, some sending their best wishes to the farmer involved, and others condemning reckless dog owners.
Becky Louisee Dalgleish wrote: "This is shocking. The second time I have seen pics like this in two days. When will people learn this is NOT okay."
Some of over 30 of my friends sheep killed & maimed by dogs on Saturday. Inveraray, Argyll area. If you have any information call 101 and state Inveraray sheep kill. Why can’t folk keep dogs under control? Please RT. pic.twitter.com/gNEo1XnNZZ— Rural Voice (@voice_rural)
Hayley Stokes posted: "This is the most horrific attack I have ever seen. It’s like something out of a horror film. This was clearly a very large dog, probably easy to spot in the town!
Lorraine Lawrence wrote: "Once a free roaming dog has a "taste" for this they cannot be trusted. Would you allow a child near one of the culprits even on a leash?
"The owners must suspect their dogs have been up to something.
"Hope area vets are vigilant in watching for injury, gastric or dental strangeness in someone’s dogs."
Livestock farmers have been blighted by about £1.6 million in costs from dog attacks on livestock with the total for 2017 peaking at record level.
Shocking new figures revealed seven per cent of dog owners admitted to letting their pets chase farm animals in rural areas and a further 60 per cent said they allowed their pets to roam off the lead when around livestock.
Experts at NFU Mutual said this type of behaviour had contributed to a 67 per cent jump in claims over the last two years.
In the same period, costs more than quadrupled in Scotland and almost doubled in the Midlands.
Rural affairs specialist Tim Price said attacks by dogs were livestock farmers’ ‘worst nightmares’.
We have 1,000s of livestock worrying signs which you can nail to gateposts or fenceposts near footpaths to highlight the problem to walkers.
If you would like some of these signs, please send a stamped, self-addressed A4 envelope to
FG Take the Lead, Farmers Guardian,
Unit 4, Fulwood Business Park,
You will need at least three First Class or Second Class stamps on to cover postage costs. We will be able send up to 25 signs.