A SCOTS pensioner is facing a possible fine of up to £40,000 after he was charged following the deaths of four lambs.

The 73-year-old is expected to appear in court, police say, after his dog was involved in a sheep-worrying incident in Keith, Moray.

Police Constable Hannah Corbett, a wildlife crime and environmental officer, said: “Under the legislation owners of dogs attacking and worrying livestock can now be imprisoned and fined up to £40,000. The dog does not have to physically attack the sheep to cause them extreme stress or death.

“Farmers are legally entitled to protect their livestock, which can result in the destruction of a dog by being shot. Whilst no farmer wants to resort to this option, it is legal, though it could be easily avoided if owners ensure that their dogs are controlled around livestock.

“When you are walking dogs near livestock, please ensure that your dog is kept under control, restrained on a lead, even if you can usually trust it to recall.”

Police said a report has been sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

SNP MSP Jim Fairlie, the founder of Farmers for Yes, has launched a bid to make people more aware of the dangers posed to sheep by dog walkers.

It comes after a farm in Kelty lost 20 lambs in a single incident.