A WARNING has been issued to dog owners to keep their pets on leads near livestock following a brutal attack on sheep near Malpas.

On Monday, Cheshire Police shared the shocking image of a sheep that had been killed by a dog in Wigland and issued a reminder to dog owners.

Sharing the image on social media, a spokesman for the force said farmers were within their rights to shoot dogs on their land to protect livestock.

Chester and District Standard:

"This is the shocking result of a dog attack in Wigland near Malpas, followed by a second ewe that later died due to the stress/panic/shock caused by the dog," they said.

"Dogs merely off a lead in a field containing livestock, let alone chasing or attacking cause whoever is in charge of the dog at the time to commit a criminal offence under the Protection of Livestock Act 1953.

"Remember, farmers are fully justified in law to kill or injure dogs to protect their livestock under the Animals Act 1971, which normally means shooting.

"So please be mindful by ensuring your canines are under full control when out in the countryside or anywhere near fields/livestock to prevent further livestock and dog fatalities."