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Farmer calls for fines for dog owners as rogue pets causing irreparable damage to sheep


Sheep farmer Jane Basset from Hartington, in the Peak District, said the number of attacks on her and other farmers’ animals has increased in recent months. Ms Basset urged for a review of the Countryside Code to impose stricter regulation on dog owners whose pets damage livestock, urging for an immediate introduction of mandatory leashes. Speaking to GB News’ Alastair Stewart, the sheep farmer said: “There has been an increase, sadly so, with the attacks by dogs on sheep with some horrific examples, absolutely horrific examples.

“Really, the incidents are increasing. It’s not just the damage to the sheep which can be done by the dog chasing the sheep, it’s actually the stress that it causes to the sheep.”

She continued: “It’s not easy to find the people who actually cause the damage, the owners of the dogs that cause the damage.

“Fines are increasing but at the same time they should be stronger fines.

“And at the same time it would be helpful if there were a lot of clearer rules.”

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Ms Basset insisted the Countryside Code as it stands contains “vague regulation” on whether dog owners should have their dogs on a leash when close to livestock.

She insisted making rules clearer and stricter would help limit the number of attacks and ensure the livestock is not damaged.

She added: “You mentioned keeping your dog on a lead around livestock and a lot of people do do that, that’s responsible ownership.

“But nevertheless the law is not clear, it needs to be clearer not only strengthened by fines. 

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“But actually, every dog has an instinct to chase animals, even if it’s usually obedient and it’s usually well-behaved.

“If it was actually made law that they have to have it on a lead it would be so much better.”

The National Sheep Association (NSA) warned sheep worrying, the technical term for a dog chasing a sheep in a field, can cause “serious damage” to the animals.

The NSA warned on their website: “Sheep fleeing from dogs are often killed or seriously injured by their panicked attempts to escape, causing untold damage to fences and field boundaries in the process.

“Dogs chasing ewes and lambs can cause mis-mothering issues, with lambs dying from starvation or hypothermia when they become separated from their mother and fail to find her again.”

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