Lambing season in full swing
It's the lambing season again and farmers are asking dog walkers to act responsibly around livestock.
While it's important for the sake of the countryside that everyone follows the Countryside Code, it's even more important that people, especially dog owners, take extra care during lambing season.
"All dogs have an instinct to chase, even well-behaved dogs can become unpredictable around sheep. That's why the Countryside and Right of Way Act (CROW Act) states that the public can only go on open land if they keep dogs on a fixed lead of 2 metres or less near livestock," says Paul Elgar, Estate Manager.
Owners can be convicted of sheep worrying if their dog is caught chasing sheep, even if it doesn't physically attack them. And in certain cases farmers are entitled to shoot dogs that are worrying sheep.
"Being chased by a dog can seriously damage sheep. The stress can cause pregnant ewes to miscarry, or sheep to abandon their lambs," adds Paul.
To keep your dog and the sheep safe, please stick to public footpaths and make sure that dogs are on a lead if livestock are likely to be nearby.