A “horrendous” attack in Trawden has sparked calls for dog owners to keep their pets on a lead.
The incident, which is believed to have happened on either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning on land at Far Wanless Farm, left one sheep dead.
Three more had to be put to sleep, after suffering various injuries including ripped muscles in their legs and throat, and one lamb also had to be put down for shock.
Stanley House Veterinary Surgery’s Rhiannah De Carteret said the attack is the worst case of sheep worrying she has witnessed since she started practising in summer 2012.
Along with farmer Paul Johnson, and response officer PC Michael Spencer, she is now urging residents to remain vigilant when they are out walking their dogs.
She said: “If you are going to make the decision to walk dogs around livestock then you need to be confident that they are going to be safe.
“Take measures like putting them on a lead, and be aware of any sort of risks – not just for the farmer’s livelihood but for the animals as well. This is horrendous.”
And Mr Johnson, who owns approximately 150 sheep, added: “If people kept their dogs on a lead and kept to the footpath, there wouldn’t be a problem.
“I have had the odd sheep worried before, but I have never had anything like this – not on this scale.”
It is also believed that another case of sheep worrying happened in Trawden last week. PC Spencer added: “These sheep have suffered horrific injuries.
“The concern is that the land is owned by the farmer, but there is a public footpath through the property.
“There are signs up but people are still coming through and letting their dog off the lead.
“We need to make them aware that when they are walking through property, they need to remain vigilant.”