Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Chilterns Conservation Board

Chilterns Conservation Board

WITH the lambing season underway, we would remind dog owners to keep dogs under control at all times and to always keep them on a lead around livestock.

And as birds begin to nest and rear young, walkers and countryside users can help protect ground-nesting birds and other wildlife by keeping to footpaths and bridleways.

The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Beauty is a nationally protected landscape but also a living, working landscape where livestock grazing in the fields are a regular sight at this time of year.

We are fortunate to have more than 2,000km of footpaths in the Chilterns and, inevitably, many of them pass through fields of sheep or cows.

This is a timeless rural scene but, sadly, one which has seen a sharp increase in incidents of livestock being wounded, or even killed, by dogs which have been let off leads. This is devastating for all involved.

Most dog attacks on livestock are completely preventable.

Please #takethelead and keep your dog on a short lead around sheep, particularly now, with ewes about to give birth and so many new-born lambs around.

If chased by dogs, pregnant ewes can lose their lambs or die from stress and exhaustion.

Most dog owners behave responsibly but, sadly, a minority allow their pets to run freely in fields where farm animals may be grazing. Young livestock are particularly vulnerable, so take extra care and avoid an animal welfare tragedy.

It’s great that more people are getting out and enjoying the nature and the beauty of the Chilterns during
lockdown.

However, we urge people to follow the Countryside Code to ensure that people, farm animals and wildlife can all stay safe.

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