Sheep have suffered serious injuries during several alleged dog attacks in Wiltshire.

Police have received several reports and images from farmers in recent weeks after what are believed to be dog attacks in the Granham Hill area of Marlborough.

In the most recent incident, a dog owner reportedly allowed their pet to chase and harass sheep in the area, chasing one of the animals into brambles to escape.

Neighbourhood PCSO Melissa Camilleri said these incidents were “completely unacceptable.”

She said: “Unfortunately we have received graphic images from farmers of the injuries sustained by sheep, inflicted by what is thought to be dogs not on leads.

“This is completely unacceptable.

“There is a reason that it is a criminal offence to allow a dog to worry livestock such as sheep by attacking it or chasing it.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: A wounded sheep in WiltshireA wounded sheep in Wiltshire (Image: Wiltshire Police)

Allowing a dog to chase sheep can cause “serious damage” to the animal even if they are not caught.

Officers have urged pet owners to keep their dogs on leads when around livestock.

PCSO Camilleri added: “Even if the dog doesn’t catch the sheep, chasing it can do serious damage, as the fear caused by the dogs can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs.

“Sheep fleeing dogs can also be injured in their attempts to escape, and can cause damage to fences and field boundaries in the process.

“It is the dog owner’s responsibility to ensure their dog is kept on a lead – so please be careful as you can never be sure about how they will react.”

Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, dog owners and anyone in charge of the dog at the time are deemed responsible if the animal worries livestock on agricultural land.

Worrying livestock includes attacking livestock, chasing it in a way that may reasonably cause injury, suffering, or abortion, and being in a field or enclosure where there are sheep while not on a lead or under close control.