Help wanted from responsible dog owners re. SHEEP ATTACKS
There have been recent local incidents of sheep being attacked by a dog (or dogs). This is a criminal offence and has been reported to the police. Apart from the financial cost to the farmer there have been injuries to the sheep and potentially a loss of unborn lambs.
Please keep an eye out for anyone who is not controlling their dog near to livestock. If possible warn them of the consequences to the livestock, their dog and themselves. If the warning is ignored or if you actually witness a dog chasing livestock please report it to the police on “101”.
Local dog walkers are generally very responsible and these incidents are an exception (possibly by someone who doesn’t live locally), however everyone suffers when this happens and any current relaxation of the Rights of Way rules permitted by landowners would affect everyone (dog or no dog!)
You may take your dog with you on a public right of way, provided that it is kept on a lead or is otherwise effectively controlled, remains on the path and does not worry livestock.
The law requires dog owners to keep their dogs under close control [which means walking at heel or on a short (2 metre) lead] when on a public right of way. Dogs should not be allowed to run loose in fields crossed by public rights of way or to roam off the path on extending leads. Don't allow your dog to run through arable crops or to flush out game from hedgerows or scrub. Such actions will not be appreciated by the landowner, and can easily harm wildlife, especially nesting birds.
If there is a problem with dog fouling you will need to contact your local District Council who are responsible for the removal of dog excrement.
It is an offence under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 to allow a dog to attack or chase livestock. When on enclosed land where there are sheep, dogs must be kept 'on a lead or otherwise under close control'. A landowner can also shoot a dog that is apparently out of control and worrying sheep or other livestock, and the dog's owner will not be compensated.
4 Jan 2014