The RSPCA is appealing for information after five sheep have been killed in a Staffordshire field over the course of a fortnight following suspected dog attacks.

The animal charity has been contacted over concerns about the deaths of the animals in Caverswall Common, in Stoke-on-Trent, since the start of October. The most recent incident was on Monday 16 October.

It is thought that somebody has been damaging stiles and cutting fences to get into the field with dogs. All of the attacks have happened at night.

RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “It is really shocking that this has happened and we do believe that someone has been deliberately targeting the sheep in this field.

“All of the sheep who have died have injuries consistent with being mauled by a dog, and the fact that entry to the field has been forced leads us to believe this is a deliberate act.

“The aftermath of these attacks cause extreme stress, injuries and sometimes death to the sheep. Dog-owners should also remember that they could be prosecuted and their dog could be shot if they are caught worrying sheep.

“We are urging anyone who has any information to contact us in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.”

The RSPCA urges dog-owners to keep their pet on a lead around livestock and wildlife.

“We want to reiterate to dog-owners that there is there is a very simple way to stop these attacks – keep your dog on a lead around livestock and wildlife,”  added Inspector Melvin.

“If dog-owners can spread the word about being responsible around livestock that will really help too. Many dogs, if given the opportunity, will chase or show interest in livestock and/or wildlife so even if your pet is normally calm, gentle, obedient and docile, don’t be complacent; they can be still be a danger.”

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