Livestock worrying is becoming an increasing issue especially now that spring has arrived and the lambing season is well under way. It is important that dogs are kept under control to protect the livestock as well as you and your pet.
Livestock that are killed or injured as the result of an out of control dog is a criminal offence. During such attacks dogs can be injured too.
There are simple ways to keep both your pet and livestock safe.
Keep your dog on a lead – Dog walkers that use open access land must keep their dog on a short lead (a maximum of two metres) between 1 March and 31 July. If near livestock this applies at all times.
Stick to paths and public rights of way – Often areas of private land may have footpaths running through them. Mostly, these paths are to the edge of fields to minimise disruption to any livestock in that area, it is important to follow these paths.
Look out for and follow signs – Most land owners will display simple ‘Keep your dog on a lead’ signs, however, at this time of year, some livestock owners restrict access to their land to protect their animals. It is important to follow this advice.
Even well behaved dogs can cause stress and disruption to livestock.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your dog is under control at all times.
For more information on this issue and ways to report rural crime, please visit the Thames Valley Police website.