DOG LOVERS have been warned to keep their pets on leads when they visit a much-loved Saddleworth beauty spot.
The move comes after a vicious attack on a luckless sheep by a huskie-style dog at Dovestone Reservoir in Greenfield.
Children, picnicking with their parents, screamed in terror as the dog repeatedly bit the defenceless animal until it was driven away by a brave mother from Royton and another passer-by.
Matthew Gummerson, the NFU’s agent said: “Livestock worrying is a real problem for farmers and can easily be prevented.
“Thousands of Britons are taking advantage of the summer holiday to get out and about, exploring the countryside with their dog.
“It does present a significant risk to livestock and dog owners do need to be aware their dogs can attack sheep and their lambs. Just chasing the sheep can cause them to abort during pregnancy and in some cases leads to death.
“Furthermore, if they do attack, this most certainly leads to death and the dogs can kill multiple times.
“We recommend keeping your dog close, under effective control, and on a short lead around any livestock. If you feel threatened by cattle release your dog so you can both get to safety separately.
“People need to remember that our animals are our livelihood and we can’t risk having them distressed, hurt or killed by dogs with irresponsible owners. So — be responsible.”
Farmer Jim Bradbury, whose spread overlooks Dovestone, said: “There has been no sign of the wounded sheep since the attack. These attacks happen regularly.
“Visitors should just keep their dogs on a short lead when they are near livestock.”