North Antrim MLA Robin Swann is urging dog owners to exercise firm control over their pets to ensure they don’t become involved in sheep worrying.
“Some people are under the false impression that simply having their dogs walk beside them off a lead is controlling them. This is nonsense. The dogs must be on a lead at all times,” said Mr Swann.
“People also need to make very sure that when they are walking in the countryside, they guard their dogs so as these family pets do not wander away and attack farm stock, especially sheep and lambs which are exceptionally vulnerable at this time of year.
“Placid pets can easily become killer hounds...People must also ensure they know where their dogs are at all times,” said the MLA, adding: “I fully support the rights of farmers to take whatever legal steps they deem necessary to protect their flocks and other animals from stray or unaccompanied dogs.”