IN THE run-up to peak lambing season, dog owners have been reminded to keep their pets on leads in the countryside and avoid the risk of “devastating” livestock-worrying.

Recent incidents include several attacks on sheep in Torfaen, along a circular walking route which runs between Pontypool Park and the Folly Tower.

And in northern Monmouthshire last month, 50 ewes died after being chased into the corner of a field.

READ MORE: 50 ewes dead following sheep-worrying incident (contains graphic image)

Research by NFU Mutual found dog attacks on livestock cost Welsh farmers an estimated £165,000 last year.

Researchers also found 42 per cent of UK dog owners had been walking their pets more often in the countryside during the pandemic.

“The stress alone of being chased by a dog can be enough to kill a sheep and for pregnant ewes there is the risk of them losing their unborn lambs,” Gwent Police said. “We would like to remind all dog owners to ensure their dog is on a lead whenever they are near livestock.

"Many sheep-worrying incidents are caused by unaccompanied dogs that have escaped from their house or garden.

“Dog owners should make sure their home or garden is secure and that their dog cannot get loose.”

Gwent Police advises anyone who sees an incident of livestock-worrying to call the force on 101.