DOG owners are being warned to keep their pets under control as the bank holiday weekend approaches to prevent attacks on livestock on the Malvern Hills.

Malvern Hills Conservators, which has issued the warning, is keen not to see a repeat of the last bank holiday weekend, when dogs killed a young lamb and three ewes.

Director Stephen Bound said: "The Malvern Hills are a great place to walk, with or without a dog. However, what many dog owners don’t realise is that even the gentlest family pet may attack sheep given the opportunity.

"It’s therefore very important that owners keep their dogs under control at all times. If people would like to know where livestock will be before they take their dog out, they can subscribe to our Stockwatch bulletin via our website"

Dog attacks are distressing for sheep, which will sometimes die of shock, even when their injuries are not particularly severe.

Allowing a dog to worry livestock, or having a dog off the lead or not under close control where livestock are present, is a criminal offence with a maximum fine of £1,000.