A few days ago, in the local press, there was a story about 70 sheep that had been savaged & killed by a dog, or dogs, up near Carlisle. It broke my heart to hear about the needless deaths. I sincerely hope Karma is watching over the dog owner.
- Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times, when sheep, and other livestock are in the vicinity. Why is it so difficult for some dog owners to comprehend that simple statement?
I’m often out and about with Poppy, and as soon as I’m in an area with sheep on the loose, she is secured to protect them – and herself too, as a farmer can legally shoot a dog if they can be shown to have worried livestock.
- Is it worth the risk of losing your dog, for the sake of a few minutes of inconvenience at wearing a lead?
On the sheep deaths, PC Helen Branthwaite, Cumbria’s wildlife crime coordinator, said: “We take these incidents very seriously, Sheep Worrying is a criminal offence, as well as the injury and suffering inflicted upon the animals, it can cause huge financial cost to the farmer and ultimately lead to prosecution of the owner or person in control of the dog at the time.
“We urge people to take steps to keep their dogs under control near livestock, using a lead in areas near livestock and keeping a distance and only letting dogs off their lead in areas without livestock.”
Ian Bowness, the National Farmers Union North West deputy county chairman, who farms at Threapland Lees near Aspatria, said the total cost of the livestock lost could be between £10,500 and £15,000, depending on factors such as age and breed.
“It is vital that dog owners are responsible around livestock and follow recommended guidance to help ensure that they can have fun and safe days out in the countryside with their pets, without disrupting the important work of sheep farmers, especially during the lambing season.”
- Respect other people:
- consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors.
- leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available.
- Protect the natural environment:
- leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home.
- keep dogs under effective control.
- Enjoy the outdoors:
- plan ahead and be prepared.
- follow advice and local signs.