Dog owners have been urged to “be responsible” and keep pets on the lead following two serious incidents of sheep worrying in Moray.
Police said a dog had been seen chasing sheep in a field on Wednesday February 9 in the Forres area.
In Aberlour, eight sheep were injured after being worried by a dog on Monday February 21.
The farmer did not want to take the matter further and the dog owner was given advice following the incident.
The warning comes as the lambing season gets under way and police are urging dog owners to ensure pets do not run or escape into fields on their own.
Wildlife crime officer PC Hannah Haywood said: “The lambing season has started and so anyone exercising their dogs should make sure they keep their pets on a lead and under close control when walking near livestock.
“If you live in or near to a farming area, it is also important to ensure that your dog cannot escape from your property and find its way onto land containing livestock.
“The stress of being worried by a dog can cause a pregnant ewe to miscarry their lambs or cause a ewe to abandon its young which could lead to the lamb dying. Injuries and the loss of sheep cause a significant financial burden on farmers and dog owners could face prosecution under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953.
“I am asking all dog owners to be considerate. Please remember that it is your dog and your responsibility to keep them under control and that means keeping them on a lead near livestock.”