Local shepherd asks for special care

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Tony Pierce, a Rye Harbour shepherd, asks for dog owners to show care during the lambing season. “It’s getting close to spring which is the most important time of year for sheep farmers. The heavily in-lamb ewes are very vulnerable to any stress, most importantly dog-worrying. Dogs can cause so much harm without actually biting the sheep. Just the stress of being chased can induce premature birth and a whole host of related issues. Whilst the vast majority of dog owners are very responsible there are a few who cause great heartache to the shepherds who care for their sheep. Please keep your dogs on a short lead if anywhere near sheep.”

Advice from Rother Police to dog owners

With spring around the corner, and many farmers already lambing, it’s crucial for owners walking their dogs near livestock areas always to keep their dog on a lead. A reminder that livestock-worrying is an offence, and you could be liable for prosecution and heavy financial penalties if your dog is involved in an incident of this type.

Top tips

  • Pause and check the area has no animals before walking.
  • Maintain control of your dog on a short lead.
  • Steer clear of animals by using designated paths and allowing ample space.
  • Stay alert and take notice of any signs and notices in the countryside.
  • Livestock worrying—where a dog chases or attacks farm animals—can lead to severe injuries or fatalities, with significant emotional and financial impacts on farmers. Remember, even the most well-behaved pooch may act on instinct and can cause pregnant ewes distress.
  • Alternative walking routes can be found on websites such as Foot Path Map.

Image Credits: Faye Pierce , Kt bruce .

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