Dog walkers are reminded to take more care if taking pets out into the countryside.
Avon & Somerset Police want to remind dog owners to keep their pets under control and remember to follow the “Country Code” by clicking HERE
There have been reports of sheep worrying already this year.
As well as being costly to the farmer, these often fatal attacks are extremely upsetting for those dealing with the aftermath.
PS Stuart Williams said: “We know dog owners love to stroll in the countryside with their pets but we cannot stress enough how important it is to be aware of your surroundings.
“Even if you think your dog is placid and friendly, when faced with a field full of livestock they can be unpredictable. It’s simply not worth taking the risk – keep your dog on a lead and away from livestock.
“If your dog is found to be responsible for sheep worrying then as its owner you could find yourself with a large vets bill, prosecution and the strong possibility of your dog being destroyed as a result. We don’t want that to happen, we don’t want anyone to lose a much loved family pet, so please keep them on the lead,” said PS Williams.
Please consider your actions as a responsible dog owner when out and about enjoying the countryside:-
•Always check for livestock in fields when walking your dog/s.
•Always make sure you shut gates behind you.
•When in fields with livestock, it is vital that your dog/s are kept on a lead and under control at all times. The only time you should release your dog is in the event of being chased by cattle. By restraining the dog in this circumstance you are putting yourself at risk of being injured by the cattle.
•If you live near livestock and own a dog/s make sure that your property and garden are secure so your pets cannot escape.
NFU Mutual estimated that more than 18,500 animals were killed or injured in dog attacks in 2015 at a cost of £1.1m to farmers.