Members of the public have been reminded of the dangers garden clippings in grazing pasture pose to sheep.
Most poisoning occurs in the winter months as leaves, generally, are evergreen and are attractive to animals when other forages are scarce.
Animals eating approximately 0.2% of their body weight of leaves are likely to develop signs of poisoning.
9 in-lamb ewes die
The appeal comes following an incident in North Wales, which resulted in the death of nine in-lamb ewes.
Highlighting the matter on social media, a spokesperson for NWP Rural Crime Team, said: “This is the direct result of somebody fly-tipping garden clippings into a field of sheep!”
“A lot of garden plants are highly toxic to animals and due to this selfish act 9 heavily pregnant ewes have suffered a horrendous death leaving the farmer heartbroken.”
Responding to the post, a tweeter said: “Dumping freshly cut grass over a fence into a field may seem a harmless act, but it can be lethal to ruminants.”
“It they gorge themselves; it can induce bloating, which can be fatal. Get a green bin, better still compost it, and put it back on your garden.”
Another tweeter said: “This is terrible, whatever the cause. I’ve seen a lot of recent incidents of horses dying or being ill as a result of passers-by giving them ‘treats’. I’d like to think the grass-tipper meant no harm.”
Another commented: “It’s been a massive problem with horses for years. Grass cuttings from the mower, even carrots cut into “bite size chunks” – such a potential issue, and so often people simply don’t know.”
“If it’s not yours, don’t feed it unless you have checked and know it’s OK!” the tweeter added.
One user suggested a solution to combat the issue. “Stronger fines for fly-tippers AND 4 weeks community service clearing up other fly-tippers waste.”
Ewe chokes on fruit
Last year, Dorset Police Rural Crime Team urged the public to refrain from feeding any animal that is not their own.
The appeal came following a report from a farmer where unknown individuals fed sheep and goats fruit in a field.
“This has sadly caused the death of a fit and strong 2-year-old ewe in her prime which had choked to death on a satsuma.”
“The death of this ewe has also affected the two young lambs which are now orphaned.”