Animal welfare charity Scottish SPCA has issued the stark warning just days after a Scots farmer shot and killed a family’s dog after it entered a sheep field.
Under Scots law, farmers are allowed to shoot dogs on their land if they are concerned the animals may attack or leave their livestock distressed.
Lambing season has started in Scotland, and the National Sheep Association have said incidents of sheep worrying are happening on a weekly basis.
The Scottish SPCA have now issued a statement reminding pet owners that farmers are legally allowed to shoot dogs, if their livestock is at risk.
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, Mike Flynn, said: “As we enter lambing season, we want to take the opportunity to remind dog owners to keep dogs on a lead around farm animals at all times.
“Sheep and lambs are more vulnerable at this time of year and the stress caused by a sheep being chased can lead to them miscarrying or even death.
“It can also be devastating for the farmer responsible for the sheep, emotionally and financially.
“Often lambs or sheep caught by a dog have to be put to sleep due to their injuries.
“Farmers are legally allowed to shoot a dog if it is seen to be worrying their animals so please always keep your dog away from all farm animals and on a lead at all times.”