DOG owners and motorists are being urged to be alert to new lambs and ewes on the North York Moors.

Each year picturesque unfenced roads on the Moors National Park see many of the animals killed by motorists.

The National Sheep Association says it is particularly anxious about them being savaged by dogs and is urging their owners to keep them on a lead.

The park’s assistant director of services, Michael Graham, said: “Incidents of sheep being distressed, injured or even killed by dogs is a regular, if intermittent problem in the National Park.

“Being chased by dogs, even if there is not apparent harm done, can do serious damage to sheep and the stress alone can cause mis-mothering of lambs, sheep to die, and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs.

“It is an offence to allow a dog to worry sheep and any dog caught in the act, can legally be shot with no compensation to the dog’s owner.”

Mr Graham added: “We ask that owners stay legal and keep their dog under close control preferably on a lead.”