The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority is stressing the importance of keeping dogs on leads while walking around livestock, after another distressing local incident involving dogs and sheep worrying.
Two heavily pregnant ewes were chased at Llanychaer, Fishguard recently, resulting in their deaths, along with their unborn lambs.
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Dyfed-Powys Police are working together to remind dog walkers to keep their pets on a lead and under close control in areas they may encounter livestock.
With the lambing season upon us and with many public paths crossing fields of sheep, National Park Authority Farm Conservation Officer Geraint Jones said: “We work in partnership with the Dyfed-Powys Police Rural Crime Team, who have investigated this incident and found a dog was let off its lead, leading to the loss of livestock.
“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 difficult for farmers.
“Newborn lambs are also very vulnerable at this time, and can get very distressed and die if they are separated from their mothers or abandoned after being chased by dogs.”
With this in mind, the Park Authority and Dyfed-Powys Police have teamed up to raise public awareness that worrying sheep is a crime, with consequences for dogs seen to be at large in agricultural fields.
Signage will be placed around the National Park from mid March to October in order to remind dog owners of their responsibilities.
To avoid this type of situation developing, on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and along rights of way in our countryside, please make sure:
Your dog is kept on a short lead and under close control when sheep are present.
You clean up after your pet as dog mess can spread diseases to farm animals. Please bag it and bin it wherever you are, using any public waste bin, or take it with you to dispose of it at home.
For more information, including the National Park Authority’s Dog Walking Code of Conduct, visit www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/walking and click on Walking Your Dog.
Published 19 March 2019