During lockdown we have seen an increase in the public venturing out into the countryside. This can only be a good thing for everyone’s health but we do encourage that the Countryside Code is followed for your own safety, the wildlife and livestock you encounter. There is a more sinister side by not adhering to the rules.

Farmers have seen an increase during this period around trespass, the public walking over fields and not keeping to footpaths, leaving gates open and letting their dogs foul in the fields or leaving poo bags on
the ground or tied to fences. It should be noted this bacteria is dangerous if eaten by cows and can cause abortions. It can also be baled into silage bales and be later eaten by cattle and cause stomach impactions and death.

Livestock worrying - this term is used when a dog is loose around farm animals on agricultural land and acts in a way to cause injury or suffering, through alarming, chasing or attacking the animal. It is a criminal offence, and under the law, a dog worrying livestock can be shot and killed. Owners are responsible for keeping their dog under control, or can face a fine of up to £1,000. Please be a responsible dog owner the next time you venture out.

Tips for safe and responsible dog walking around livestock:
• Keep dogs on a lead and under control when walking through fields of livestock
• Always stick to public rights of way and leave all gates as you found them
• If you live beside land where livestock is grazed ensure you know where your dog is at all times, and keep your property secure so your dog cannot escape
• Cows can be curious and may follow walkers. If this happens, keep facing the animal and move calmly and slowly, don’t turn your back to it or run
• Steer well clear of young animals and do not try to pet them. Cows and calves will be protective and may become aggressive
• If you feel threatened by cattle when with a dog, let go of the lead so you and the dog can get to safety separately

Livestock worrying should be reported to the police online or call 101. If the dogis in the process of worrying livestock and cannot be stopped, then call 999. Anyone who shoots a dog to prevent livestock worrying must notify the police within 48 hours.

 Responsible dog walking around livestock