Police are warning dog owners that their animals may be shot dead if they are seen worrying sheep.
Police officers warn that sheep worrying can kills unborn lambs
The message follows an incident in Pittenweem, Fife, in which two dogs were allowed by their owners to run freely through a flock of sheep.
Fife Constabulary said farmers had a duty of care towards livestock and were legally entitled to shoot a dog if it was causing distress.
Ch Insp Alistair McKeen urged people not to risk losing their family pet.
He said: "Dog owners should make themselves aware of the countryside law and ensure they have total control of their dog at all times, especially in the coming weeks as the lambing season approaches.
"It should also be borne in mind that farmers have a duty of care to their animals and are legally entitled to take action against any dog who causes distress to livestock by being on farm land without permission and while not under the control of its owners.
"This could result in a much-loved pet being shot for worrying livestock, with no recourse open to the pet owner."