Do your customers walk their dogs in rural areas? National Sheep Association (NSA) and the RSPCA have teamed up to urge dog owners to take extra care during lambing season.
Every year sheep are killed, maimed and miscarry because of being chased and attacked by dogs. Tony Woodley, RSPCA inspector, said: “No dog owner sets out on a walk to hurt sheep but sadly that is what can happen if the dog is allowed to run loose around livestock. Many dogs, if given the opportunity, will chase or show interest in livestock so even if your pet is normally calm, gentle, obedient and docile, don’t be complacent; they can be still be a danger.
“The aftermath of these attacks can be absolutely horrific – sheep with their ears ripped off, their legs bitten down to the bone and their throats torn open. Dog owners should also remember that they could be prosecuted and their dog could be shot dead if they are caught worrying sheep.”
Both NSA and RSPCA are reminding dogs owners to keep their pets on a lead on a lead around livestock.
Tips for dog owners:
- Watch for signs warning of livestock and keep dogs on a lead around farm animals and in areas owners suspect animals may be grazing, or avoid them completely.
- If your customer’s dog chases sheep, they should report it to the farmer even if there is no apparent injury as the stress of worrying by dogs can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs
- Owners should make sure their dog is wormed regularly and pick up it’s mess to stop diseases spreading to livestock
- Visit www.nationalsheep.org.uk/dog-owners and www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs to learn more about responsible dog ownership.