With lambing season well under way across Northamptonshire, Weedon Vets is urging dog owners to ensure their pooch is kept on a lead around livestock.
Even if your dog is generally docile they can cause extreme distress to sheep when off the lead and statistics show they can cause severe injury and event fatalities.
Unfortunately, it is all too often that we see sheep that have been attacked and even ewes that have aborted lambs because of stress and exhaustion. Recent statistics show that these incidents are on the rise and make for grim reading.
Under UK law, dog owners can be prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act if their animal is found to have attacked livestock. The courts can order that the dog be put down, while the owner can face fines, be prohibited from owning animals in the future, and can even face prison time.
Farmers also have the right to shoot a dog if it’s worrying their livestock and in previous years we have unfortunately had to deal with this extremely sad situation.
This devastation can be prevented so please keep dogs on leads near livestock – even if they are in a separate field.
Please also stick to designated footpaths and make sure you are shutting gates. We don’t want anyone else to lose livestock or a loved family pet.