Farmers warn keep your dogs on leads or face them being shot
Land owners and farmers have told the public they can legally shoot dogs which are worrying their livestock, after two dogs chased pregnant sheep in a field near Dymchurch.
On two separate occasions on Tuesday, a dog entered the field of 120 ewes. Each dog only chased the sheep, but several farmers have seen stock killed by dogs in the past.
Now farmers want to remind dog owners that, although they are welcome to walk in the countryside, pets should stay on leads near livestock.
Andrew Burr from the national farmers union told The Looker: “All that we are asking is for people to keep their dogs on leads, so they are under control and not just running loose everywhere. People seem to think they can let their dog run anywhere they want to. The vast majority are fine, but we have a few that don’t appreciate the damage their animals are doing. The law says that a farmer can shoot a dog that’s worrying his stock on their land. Farmers put up signs in around the fields warning people there are sheep grazing in the area and that if their dogs are chasing sheep they stand a very real chance of having the dogs shot.”
Mr Burr commenting on the Dymchurch incident said: “The farmer’s daughter was particularly upset about Tuesday’s incident, because she had just bought the ewes as her first farming business venture.
He said: “Two separate dogs came about two hours apart and they were chasing them around and around.
“We would like people to enjoy the countryside and we would like people to use our footpaths; but if there’s livestock in a field, put their dog on a lead.”