This afternoon we had an incident of sheep worrying. A local dog had set upon our flock and chased them through hedges.
To see your livestock so traumatised and petrified, as a farmer, is both upsetting and makes your blood boil.
Twice this year, in separate conversations, local people have told me with some amusement that their dog has chased my sheep.
Only when they have seen my face have they realised that this isn’t actually funny.
Are they stupid, heartless animal haters? I would like to think not - more in need of education.
As an owner doing nothing about either of the above is a matter for the police.
WORRYING isn’t just a blood-stained half rabid animal ripping animals apart left and right.
Not that it makes it OK at any time, but most sheep out in the late autumn and into the winter will be pregnant. A few of mine will probably now abort.
To a sheep, a dog is a wolf that will kill and eat them. It’s a natural instinct and they will run and a dog loves to chase - which is its instinct.
Imagine being chased by a lion and think - how you would feel?
Footpaths are YOUR legal right of way to enjoy our beautiful countryside. And I, for one, would never want to change that.
But remember these fields are our garden, workshop, office, factory floor and where we earn our living.
Imagine as a guest if I came into your space and kicked the door in, smashed a couple of windows, and generally vandalised it - how would you feel?
You may now be getting an idea of how farmers feel.
Thanks for reading this far. My last point is, and as a dog owner and lover this would break my heart, imagine watching your beloved pet executed with a shotgun in front of your very eyes.
Horrible thought isn’t it? And it would be ALL your fault. All for the sake of a piece of rope we call a lead.
James, Home Farm, Idridgehay, Derbyshire.
We have 1,000s of livestock worrying signs which you can nail to gateposts or fenceposts near footpaths to highlight the problem to walkers.
If you would like some of these signs, please send a stamped, self-addressed A4 envelope to
FG Take the Lead, Farmers Guardian,
Unit 4, Fulwood Business Park,
You will need at least three First Class or Second Class stamps on to cover postage costs. We will be able send up to 25 signs.