POLICE in Hereford are having to remind dog owners again that pets can be shot by farmers after sheep were killed in their field.

Saying "no one wants a Fenton moment", referring to a viral video of a dog owner shouting at their out-of-control pet, police said nobody wants unruly pets around livestock.

West Mercia Police said there had been reports of sheep worrying in Canon Pyon, near Hereford.

PCSO Adam Westlake said a lurcher-type dog was seen in a field near to where some sheep had recently been killed.


No owner was seen with the dog, he said.

"Sheep worrying can include dogs attacking animals physically, running after them or chasing the sheep around," he said.

"Dog faeces left on grazing land may also carry disease that can kill sheep and affect unborn lambs.

"Ultimately a landowner may, as a last resort for protecting their livestock, shoot a dog for worrying sheep if they cannot stop the attack by any other means. However, nobody wants to see this outcome.

"Dog walkers are known to walk through fields surrounding the area and it is vital that dogs are kept on the lead around livestock, even if you can usually trust it to come to call.

"Chasing by dogs can do serious damage to sheep, even if the dog doesn’t catch them. The stress of worrying by dogs can cause sheep to die and bites can also cause death or necessitate them being put down at a later date."


PCSO Westlake also gave tips on how to walk dogs safely in rural areas:

  • Always ensure your dog is under control in an area where there are livestock or wild animals.
  • Be particularly vigilant during lambing season and always keep dogs on a lead during this time.
  • If your dog is not good with other animals or people, avoid letting them off their lead when others are around.
  • Don't allow people who may not be confident in doing so or have full control over the animal to walk your dog.
  • Remember where there may be no livestock in a field one day, the same location could be full of animals the next.

"If you see a dog loose, please report this online," PCSO Westlake.

"If the dog seems to be out of control, let us know by calling 101."