POLICE are warning dog owners to keep animals on a lead near livestock.

It follows an incident of sheep worrying in Yetminster.

A spokesman for Sherborne Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "At approximately 3.45pm on Thursday,  September 3, two dogs described as a brown and white spaniel, and a larger darker dog with pointed ears were observed worrying sheep in a field.

"Fortunately, a dog belonging to the owner of the sheep chased the other dogs away before they could do any harm.

"Livestock worrying is a criminal offence under the Protection of Livestock Act 1953 and does not require an animal to be injured.

"Allowing a dog to be off a lead or otherwise not under close control in a field or enclosure of sheep is an offence.

"The penalty for livestock worrying can be six months' imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £1,000.

"Sherborne Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team would like to remind all dog owners to ensure their dog is on a lead whenever it is near livestock."