18 March 2019 | Online since 2003

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13 March 2018 14:44:27 |Agri Safety and Rural Crime,News,Sheep

Lake District gives out farm signs to educate dog walkers on sheep worrying

Concerned farmers within the National Park have welcomed the support this lambing season

Concerned farmers within the National Park have welcomed the support this lambing season

Action is being taken across the Lake District National Park to protect livestock during lambing season following tragedy in recent years.
As spring sets in, farmers across the region are preparing for a challenging season for their flock, as a growing number of livestock worrying incidents are recorded across the UK.
Because of the increased incidents, the Lake District National Park is providing free signage for local farmers to remind dog owners to keep their dogs under close control.
The threat of dogs stressing a lambing sheep, also known as sheep worrying, is of great concern to farmers.
It can lead to injury and even cause the ewe to abort the lamb. The National Park is calling out to dog owners to avoid tragedy this year.
The Lake District appointed its first ever dedicated Farming Officer, Briony Davey, last year.

She said it is "important" that people understand why they are being asked to keep their dogs under close control at this "crucial time of year".
Ms Davey said: “It’s a time when the National Park starts to come alive, and we would like as many people to get out and enjoy this beautiful place as possible. We just ask people to be aware of the impact they can have and please keep their dogs under close control, preferably on a lead.”
Lambing signs
Whilst many dog owners in the region are used to taking care around livestock, some walkers are unaware that if their dog was to chase the sheep, even if they don’t attack, pregnant ewes and lambs can become distressed or stumble and fall, which can result in a tragedy.
Breeder Jean Wilson, from Matterdale said: “This time last year I lost a valuable Herdwick ram – worried by a stray dog.
“I am grateful to the Lake District National Park for showing their support to us farmers by supplying lambing signs to hopefully avoid a repeat of that horrible ordeal.”
Also in support of protecting local livestock, and the livelihood of Lake District farmers, is Cumbria Tourism who is including guidance in its upcoming ‘Dogs Love Cumbria’ guide about responsible dog ownership.

Gill Haigh, Managing Director, Cumbria Tourism said: “Dogs are very welcome visitors in Cumbria, and we know that the county is growing in popularity with dog-owners, hardly surprising given the world class walking landscape.
“Many of our tourism business members provide first class dog friendly facilities too. We would ask all our visitors to share our collective responsibility for protecting our world-class environment and that includes keeping dogs under close control around livestock, particularly during lambing time.”


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