A farmer in Lancashire has called for respect from dog walkers after 15 attacks on her livestock since November last year.
Megan Needham, who works on the family farm in Rivington, has seen her sheep attacked ten times since the start of January.
The 27-year-old has now taken to social media to raise awareness of the problems facing the staff at Higher Knoll Farm and to remind dog walkers to keep their pets on a lead around livestock.
She told Farmers Guardian: "We want everyone to enjoy the countryside.
"There is nothing better than taking the dogs and kids out to enjoy the fresh air but please have respect, not just for us farmers, but for other dog walkers and members of the public.
"When walking through a field always clip your dog onto the lead when you see any livestock. Farmers can and will shoot dogs caught worrying livestock - so don’t take the risk.
"All of these attacks could have been simply avoided.
"Since November I’d say we have had roughly 15 or so attacks and around ten fatalities due to them.
"It’s upsetting and sickening that people will walk off leaving these sheep in that sort of condition. It knocks me sick."
The latest attack comes just days after a farmer in Cumbria lost thousands of pounds worth of livestock when 70 sheep were found dead in a field.
PC Helen Branthwaite, Cumbria’s wildlife crime coordinator, believes the deaths, which occurred in Dalston last week (February 11), were caused by a sheep worrying incident.
She said: "We take these incidents very seriously.
"Sheep worrying is a criminal offence, as well as the injury and suffering inflicted upon the animals, it can cause huge financial cost to the farmer and ultimately lead to prosecution of the owner or person in control of the dog at the time.
“We urge people to take steps to keep their dogs under control near livestock, using a lead in areas near livestock and keeping a distance and only letting dogs off their lead in areas without livestock.”
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.