Bowness sheep attack prompts National Park ranger to call for pet owners to take more control of their dogs

The Westmorland Gazette: PARK RANGER'S CALL: Keep dogs under control to protect sheep at lambing time PARK RANGER'S CALL: Keep dogs under control to protect sheep at lambing time

A LAKE District National Park ranger is calling for better control of dogs following a ‘savage’ attack on two pregnant ewes at Bowness. The incident, reported last week, has prompted Steve Tatlock to call for pet owners to take more control of their canines when out and about in the countryside. “Police are asking for information and in turn we are appealing to dog owners to take special care of their pets near sheep,” he said. “Most walkers are sensitive to the needs of wildlife when out with their dogs, but the thoughtless minority can and do cause havoc. “This is a very sensitive and important time. A dog chasing lambing sheep can cause them to abort and, in the worst cases, kill the ewe. “Farmers have reported some sickening cases over the years and ultimately they have a defence for shooting dogs in the protection of their animals. “This is obviously a last resort, but sometimes they have no other choice.” The incident in Bowness occurred when dogs tore the ears off a pair of ewes and left their faces gashed. And Mr Tatlock said sheep are not the only animals at risk. “Lambing time coincides with ground nesting birds producing their offspring, which are also at great risk from attack,” continued Mr Tatlock. “Species such as curlew, lapwing, snipe and grouse have nests disturbed by dogs and their chicks scattered. “And once away from the nest, their chances of survival plummet. We’ve seen a worrying decline in numbers and must do all we can to protect them.” He explained that by law dogs must be controlled so that they do not scare or disturb livestock or wildlife. On open access land they have to be kept on short leads between March 1 and July 31. This extends to cover the whole year when dogs are near sheep. Anyone with information about the Bowness incident is asked to report it to Cumbria Police on 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Advice on dog control can be found on www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk or www.thekennelclub.org.uk

Comments (2)

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2:27pm Thu 6 Feb 14

TwoHat says...

But that nice Mr George Monbigot says that sheeps are evil and must be removed from Cumbria - see http://www.thewestmo
rlandgazette.co.uk/n
ews/10982808._Sheep_
wrecked_fells__colum
nist_George_Monbiot_
to_be_quizzed_by_Cum
brian_farmers/?ref=m
c
I think this method of removal is a bit harsh though, even for someone as outspoken as him.
But that nice Mr George Monbigot says that sheeps are evil and must be removed from Cumbria - see http://www.thewestmo rlandgazette.co.uk/n ews/10982808._Sheep_ wrecked_fells__colum nist_George_Monbiot_ to_be_quizzed_by_Cum brian_farmers/?ref=m c I think this method of removal is a bit harsh though, even for someone as outspoken as him. TwoHat
  • Score: 1

3:01pm Thu 6 Feb 14

lakesailor says...

It's absolutely pointless making appeals like this. The numb-nuts who bring their dogs here and think it's great to let their dogs loose in a field of sheep will not see these appeals as they are sitting at home in Bolton or Leeds.
It's away-dayers who, generally, do these atrocious things and the only way to let them know it's not right is to have notices warning them their dogs may be legally shot.
I confronted a man and his family who were having great fun letting their terrier chase sheep in the meadow next to the Steam Boat Museum.
"He is only letting off steam." he said. When I pointed out the farmer was entitled to shoot his dog, their attitude changed.
Some people think a National Park is for their own selfish enjoyment.
It's absolutely pointless making appeals like this. The numb-nuts who bring their dogs here and think it's great to let their dogs loose in a field of sheep will not see these appeals as they are sitting at home in Bolton or Leeds. It's away-dayers who, generally, do these atrocious things and the only way to let them know it's not right is to have notices warning them their dogs may be legally shot. I confronted a man and his family who were having great fun letting their terrier chase sheep in the meadow next to the Steam Boat Museum. "He is only letting off steam." he said. When I pointed out the farmer was entitled to shoot his dog, their attitude changed. Some people think a National Park is for their own selfish enjoyment. lakesailor
  • Score: 4

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