During lambing, the Countryside Alliance reiterates support for Farmers Guardian’s “Take the Lead” campaign. It was launched to educate the public about the impact of livestock worrying by dogs with the ultimate aim of reducing the growing number of attacks. Backed by leading farming and rural organisations, Take the Lead was set up in response to shocking new statistics which revealed the number of incidents has increase significantly in recent years.
“Even if your dog is generally docile they can cause extreme distress off the lead to livestock and the statistics show they can cause injury and even fatalities”
From sheep, lambs, cattle and horses being savaged, to ewes aborting due to stress and animals dying of exhaustion after being chased, the statistics make for grim reading.
Dog owners can be prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act if their animal is found to have attacked livestock. The courts can order that the dog be put down, whilst the owner can face fines, be prohibited from owning animals in the future, and can even face prison time. Farmers also have the right to shoot dogs on site if the animal is worrying their livestock.
Kat (Nurse at Weedon Vets says) “Please keep dogs on leads near livestock – even if they are in a separate fields. Please also stick to designated footpaths and make sure you are shutting field gates properly, particularly during lambing season. We don’t want anyone else too lose livestock or a loved family pet.”