DOG owners are once more being urged to keep their pets under control on Malvern's hills and commons after two sheep were killed on Sunday.

An ewe was killed in an attack on British Camp, leaving two young lambs orphaned and needing to be bottle fed.

And in a separate attack on the same day, a lamb was killed on Castlemorton Common.

The grazier who owned the sheep, who did not wish to be named, said: "People don't realise that their nice friendly dog can become a killer when it's out of their sight and there are sheep around.

"It only takes a few minutes when the dog is hidden by the land or behind some trees. In these cases, the owner may be totally unaware of what their dog has done.

"There are dogs that are so well trained that they'll stay at heel no matter what, but for most others, the best idea is to keep them on a lead."

Beck Baker of Malvern Hills Trust - formerly the Conservators - said: "Every year there are reports from the graziers of dog attacks on sheep.

"In February one of the cattle had been attacked by a dog. These incidents can be prevented by simply keeping your dog on a lead when you're near sheep and cattle."

Livestock worrying, which includes chasing, is a criminal offence and could lead to the destruction of the dog.

"The attacks are distressing for the dog owner and devastating for the farmer. The sheep are part of the farmer's livelihood, the loss of a sheep can be very costly, and vet bills for a ewe can be in excess of £150."

The trust is offering a course to train dogs to ignore livestock. Classes are run by dog trainer and behaviourist Sue Harper, and for booking and more details, contact 01684 568067.

The trust is also running a guided dog walk on Saturday, May 20, with Sue Harper and a local grazier to talk about the benefits of grazing and meet other dog walkers, starting at the West of England car park, off West Malvern Road, at 10am.

The locations of cattle and sheep on the hills and commons can be found on the trust's Stockwatch page on its website or in the Malvern Gazette each week.