Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Keep dogs on lead near farm animals

A FARMER is appealing to dog owners to keep their pets on leads when walking through areas where there is livestock and to stick to public footpaths.

Gabbi Conway, who runs Conway Farm in Shepherd’s Green, says that during the coronavirus pandemic there has been a huge increase in people crossing the footpaths and bridleway on her land.

Signs were placed on all public footpath gates at the farm on April 17 notifying the public that dogs should remain on leads in areas where there is livestock.

Lambs began arriving the following day but within a week there were three incidents in which Mrs Conway and her husband Harry caught dogs off the lead and out of control while chasing livestock.

One involved a dog chasing a ewe which later collapsed and died from suspected shock, leaving two orphaned lambs.

Mrs Conway said: “Conway Farm has livestock. Over several days we have had to speak to many people not observing the signs.

“Several dogs have been caught chasing new born lambs, with owners not being in control and not interested in observing the regulations.

“We would like to reduce the number of attacks on livestock so we are hoping the public will work with us and start observing the signs to make accessing the countryside a more enjoyable experience for both the public and farmers.”

Mrs Conway said that bicycles and horses were only permitted on the bridleway and signs were present on all entry gates so there were “no excuses”.

She added: “Due to the increase in people using Conway Farm, we note that some are not observing the social distancing rules but more concerning is that many walkers do not wear protective gloves so potentially could be exposing themselves to germs opening and closing the metal gates.”

This was increasing the risk to themselves and the people working at the farm, she said.

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