Police are investigating after a spate of sheep worrying incidents on the Malvern Hills.

Last week, the charity caring for the Malvern Hills and Commons urged people to keep their dogs on leads near livestock.

The warning came after a sheep was found dead following a dog attack on December 10.

This death was the latest in a spate of livestock worrying incidents by dogs over the past six months.

Malvern Gazette: MHT staff, graziers and police discuss recent sheep worrying incidentsMHT staff, graziers and police discuss recent sheep worrying incidents (Image: MHT)

Livestock worrying, which includes chasing, is a criminal offence and the details of recent attacks have been reported to West Mercia Police, who are now actively investigating two of these incidents.

Being chased by a dog causes severe stress sheep and can result in the abortion of lambs in pregnant ewes.  

Witnesses to livestock worrying on the Hills and Commons are encouraged to contact the Malvern Hills Trust on 01684 892002 to ensure veterinary treatment can be administered swiftly and also to call the police on the 101 non-emergency number or report it online.

Beck Baker, community and conservation officer for the Trust, said: “Your dog doesn’t have to make contact to have a serious impact on the sheep grazing here.

'Not only sheep affected by people not controlling dogs'

“Allowing your dog to chase sheep can result in injuries and other complications.

“In August this year, a dog chased a sheep out of a grazing compartment on the Malvern Hills and onto a main road. The sheep was then hit by a car and died.

“Injuries caused by chasing may also include broken legs as the sheep run for their lives.” 

Grazier John Chance said: “It’s not only sheep that are affected by people not controlling their dogs.

“The behaviour of cattle on the Malvern Hills has changed as a result of being bothered by dogs off the lead.”

READ MORE: Malvern Hills dog attack leaves sheep dead and owners warned

The police have spoken to the grazier regarding recent incidents and they are carrying out investigations.

Those found to have allowed their dog to worry livestock may face a fine or in severe cases, see the destruction of their dog.

In 2021, a sheep worrying incident on the hills led to a dog owner having to keep their dog muzzled and on a lead at all times on common land.

Beck added: “It’s incredibly distressing to see the consequences of people failing to carry out the simple act of putting their dog on a lead near livestock.

“We’d like to urge people to put their pet on a lead anywhere near livestock so that there is no risk of an incident occurring.”