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Appeal for dog walkers to keep pets under control during lambing season

The lambing season is upon us and with many public paths crossing fields of sheep; the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority is reiterating advice and best practice for dog walkers to follow when out walking their pets.

While walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail and other public rights of way, please make sure:

- Your dog is always kept on a short lead and under close control when sheep or any other livestock are present.

- You always clean up after your dog as dog mess can spread diseases to farm animals. Please be responsible by bagging and binning it wherever you are, using any public waste bin.

- Do not leave filled poo bags in the path verges or on trees or fences.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority is appealing to dog walkers to keep their pets on a short lead and under close control when they are near livestock.​

National Park Authority Public Rights of Way Officer, Meurig Nicholas said: “If your dog is out of your sight or left out of control, it may chase after, attack or worry sheep. Worried and stressed pregnant sheep can miscarry or abort their lambs, which is also very distressing for farmers.

“Young lambs are also very vulnerable at this time, and can get distressed and even die if they are separated from their mothers or abandoned after being chased by dogs.

“We are highlighting this issue again as it is getting worse. Our advice to dog walkers is intended to benefit them as well as farmers and landowners.”

The issues of dog attacks on livestock and livestock worrying have recently received significant media attention, following the publication of a report by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), which outlined nearly 2,000 livestock had been killed and more than 1,500 injured between 2013 and 2017.

New figures from the insurer NFU Mutual have also revealed that seven per cent of dog owners admitted their pets had chased livestock in rural areas in the past and a further 60 per cent said they allowed their pets to roam off the lead when around livestock.

There has also been a recent spate of incidents in which dogs have had to be rescued from cliff edges and fallen onto steep ledges because they were not kept on a lead or under close control on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail.

Mr Nicholas added: “These situations have resulted in emergency services such as the Coastguard and RNLI having to retrieve and rescue dogs. This type of avoidable incident adds unnecessary pressure on these already busy services.

 “The Pembrokeshire Coast and countryside boasts miles of spectacular scenery, and we all want to get out there and enjoy it, including our four-legged friends.

“While the countryside can provide the environment to give your dog the exercise it needs, we also need to be sure that dogs are kept under control and safe at all times.”

For more information, including the National Park Authority’s Dog Walking Code of Conduct, visit and click on Walking Your Dog.

Published 23 March 2018

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