'Be responsible' - dog owners urged to keep their dogs under control

Dog owners are urged to keep their dogs under control, especially as more visitors are expected in the countryside during spring.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 10:51 am
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 10:54 am
Dog owners are urged to keep their dogs under control, especially as more visitors are expected in the countryside during spring.

This reminder is comes just before the Easter break which coincides with government’s plans to ease Covid movement restrictions on residents when a surge in visitors to the countryside is expected.

No facilities will yet be open to visitors while accommodation, cafés, pubs and attractions not expected to open before April 12.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) Director North, Dorothy Fairburn said: “We welcome visitors to share this beauty but ask that you respect the countryside as a place of work and a sanctuary for wildlife when enjoying a day out.

“It is vital that dog owners understand their responsibilities.

"Dogs can attack livestock if they are not under control and it is devastating if sheep are wounded or killed.

"Dog fouling can cause disease to be spread so we urge everyone to clear up any mess caused by their pets.

“It is the time of year when lambing is at its peak, and both ewes and lambs are at risk. Ewes are vulnerable and prone to abort their lambs if they are stressed by dogs.

"Ground nesting birds are also settled on their eggs at this time of year and are easily dislodged by loose dogs.

“The Countryside Code is generally adhered to by the majority of people, but there can be incidents of anti-social behaviour or a lack of awareness of the working countryside.

"All visitors should be conscious that the countryside is a place of work where the land, livestock, machinery, wildlife and environment must be respected.”

Three top tips for those using the countryside:

Livestock worrying by dogs not adequately controlled by their owners is on the increase. Please keep your dog on a lead if you are anywhere near livestock. Apart from being a danger to lambs and ewes, dogs can also pose a threat to nesting birds if not kept under close control. Also, clear up after your dog.

* Disposable BBQs are popular for cooking food out in the countryside. They are easy to transport and light but impossible to clear-up afterwards as they are too hot to put in a bag to take home, meaning they are often left and pose a huge wildfire risk.

* Fly-tipping and littering is a blight on the landscape. Please ensure you take your litter home with you and dispose of bulky waste through proper legal channels.

*When riding a bike or driving a vehicle, slow down or stop for horses, walkers and farm animals and give them plenty of room. By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horse- riders on bridleways.

The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside in England and Wales. It aims to help everyone respect, protect and enjoy the outdoors. Follow the Countryside Code here.