PCC urges dog owners to ‘take the lead’ this spring
As the start of the lambing season gets underway, Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall is urging all dog owners to keep their dogs on leads when in fields with livestock.
Sheep worrying is when, on agricultural land, a dog either attacks sheep, chases them in such a way as to likely cause injury, suffering or abortion of pregnant ewes.
Peter McCall said: “ I completely understand that lots of people enjoy long walks with their dogs, but as much of the county’s rural landscape is maintained by grazing sheep, there is always a strong chance that people will encounter livestock while out with their dog.
“Dog owners need to remember that even if their pet is well trained and always returns when called, it is in every dog’s instinct to chase, even if they are usually very well behaved.
“If sheep are chased by dogs it can cause serious damage, even if the dog does not catch them. The stress it causes can result in the pregnant ewes miscarrying their lambs.
“Sheep worrying is a serious crime and each year, sheep are attacked and killed by dogs in Cumbria. The message is simple –keep your dog on a lead when in fields and areas where there are livestock.”
Chief Inspector Lee Skelton, Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Sheep and livestock worrying is a serious issue that can be very distressing for farmers and livestock owners, who depend on these animals for their income.
“Dog owners must remember to keep their dogs under control and on a lead around farm animals and wildlife.
“We would advise all dog owners and walkers to adhere to the Countryside Code which offers advice on walking dogs responsibly near livestock and wildlife.”