Police warning over sheep deaths in Hexham
POLICE are investigating after sheep were drowned in the River Tyne at Hexham after being chased by dogs.
Officers attended the bridge end area of Tyne Green at around 3pm on Sunday following reports of dogs worrying sheep.
Two dogs had got into a field of sheep where they chased and attacked pregnant ewes.
A number of sheep were chased into the river where they died after being swept downstream.
Police seized both dogs and have launched an investigation into the incident.
Neighbourhood Inspector Pam Bridges said: "We want to remind dog owners to make sure their dogs are kept under control at all times, in particular when near farm land and other animals.
"Clearly failure to take simple steps to keep dogs under control in the countryside can result in sheep and other young animals being attacked, maimed or killed. It can also lead to dog owners losing their family pets and being prosecuted and farmers losing their animals and suffering financial loss.
"The harm in this incident caused could have been prevented if the dogs had been kept under control and out of harm's way."
The dog owner has been traced and police inquiries are ongoing.
Police are urging dog walkers and owners to control their dogs in the countryside, particularly at this time of year when ewes are in lamb.
Officers are also reminding people living in the countryside to keep fences around their property secure so that dogs cannot escape and worry livestock.
Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference number 673 of 19/03/17.
For more on this story, pick up this week's Hexham Courant.