DOG walkers are being warned to control their pets after a sheep was savagely mauled to death on the Malvern Hills.

The incident took place on North Hill on Tuesday and was the third of its kind in the last month.

Farmer Matthew Rouse, who grazes the northern hills for the Malvern Hills Conservators, said he has now lost almost 20 sheep to in more than 60 incidents over the last four years.

He said no one reported the attack to him and the first he knew was when he was contacted by the Conservators. He found the sheep close to the clocktower on West Malvern Road.

“I came across wool and chunks of flesh and when I found the sheep she was still alive. But her tail was missing and her back legs had been badly mauled and there was no choice but to put her down,” he said.

Conservators director Stephen Bound warned that anyone who fails to keep their dogs under control around livestock on the hills is committing a criminal offence and can be fined up to £1,000.

“Attacks on sheep impact on farmers’ livelihoods, as well as being upsetting for those who have to deal with the injured animals,” he said.

Walkers can check where livestock will be on the hills by using the ‘Stockwatch’ service on the Conservators’ website and anyone who sees a dog worrying sheep on the hills should call police or the Conservators on 01684 892002.