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Owners reminded to keep dogs on leads after livestock chased into a ditch

 

The CLA is urging dog owners to keep their animals on leads after cows and calves were chased into ditches by a loose dog.


Alice   Singleton

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Alice   Singleton
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“Dogs, when allowed to run off their leads, can not only cause a headache for farmers.
“Dogs, when allowed to run off their leads, can not only cause a headache for farmers.

A member of the public has witnessed a loose dog causing great distress to cows and calves near a Suffolk Wildlife Trust nature reserve.

 

The owner of the dog, which was off the lead in the Waveney Valley area has been traced, interviewed and dealt with, thanks to the witness reporting the incident to the Trust’s site manager, Matt Gooch.

 

These details were then passed to Suffolk Police who dealt with the incident.

 

Mr Gooch said: "The dog had been chasing the animals for about an hour, causing some of the animals grazing on the marsh to fall into the water.

 

Incident

 

"It’s likely the dog was let off his lead and left a public footpath on the surrounding land and had gone through, or under, a gate or perhaps through a dyke and on to grazing marsh.

 

"This isn’t an isolated incident in the area and we have had issues with dogs disturbing ground-nesting birds on our reserves such as red shank, lapwing and skylark, which are very sensitive in terms of breeding.

 

"Disturbance by dogs leaving footpaths also means the birds are forced to the air, leaving them open to predation.”

 

Last week, the North Wales Rural Crime team, in conjunction with Welsh farmers, launched an educational film highlight the reality of dog attacks on livestock from all angles, hoping to encourage members of the public to keep their dogs on leads.

 

Responsibilities

 

Claire Wright, CLA east regional survey said the incident in Suffolk has been repeated time and time again and said ’it is vital dog owners understand their responsibilities when walking their dogs in the countryside, on farms or grazing land.

 

"Dogs, when allowed to run off their leads and out of control, can not only cause a headache for farmers and landowners, but for other people trying to enjoy the countryside too," explained Ms Wright.

 

"They should always be under close control when walked on farmland and, unless they stay closely to heel, this normally means that it should be on a lead to prevent them from getting too close to livestock who may become distressed.

 

Criminal

 

"It is a criminal offence under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 if they chase or attack them."

 

The CLA are encouraging anyone who sees a dog loose and worrying livestock to report the incident to the police.

 


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FG Take The Lead campaign

FG Take The Lead campaign

With sponsorship from The Original Muck Boot Company,Farmers Guardian has been working alongside the British Veterinary Association and the National Sheep Association (NSA) to raise awareness of dog attacks via its Take the Lead campaign.

 

We have thousands of livestock worrying signs which you can nail to gateposts or fence posts near footpaths to highlight the problem to walkers.

 

If you would like some of these signs, please send astamped, self-addressed A4 envelope to:

 

FG Take the Lead,

Farmers Guardian,

Unit 4, Fulwood Business Park,

Preston,

Lancashire,

PR2 9NZ.

 

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.

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