North Yorkshire Police urge dog owners to control pets around livestock

Police are urging North Yorkshire dog-owners to control their pets, warning of the devastating injuries their animals can inflict on livestock.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 1:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 1:02 pm
North Yorkshire Police have been supplying stocks of warning posters to farmers to put up on gates and near livestock fields. Picture: North Yorkshire Police

With more people visiting the countryside to walk their dogs, North Yorkshire Police have been supplying stocks of warning posters to farmers to put up on gates and near livestock fields.

They have also been showing dog owners photos to show the terrible injuries their pet could cause to a sheep.

“Farmers, vets and police colleagues know all too well the horrific injuries sheep can suffer as a result of dog attacks," said PCSO Andy Birkinshaw of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force.

"It’s a horrible thing to witness, but it can be avoided simply by dog owners taking responsibility for their pets.”

North Yorkshire farmer Stuart Raw said: “I’ve had sheep which have been torn to bits and left alive, and they have gaping wounds all over their body from dogs.

"I panic every weekend, going to the farm and finding people with dogs tearing round the sheep.”

PC Mark Atkinson, from the Rural Task Force, added: “Any dog, no matter how well behaved, can get out of control when off the lead around livestock. It just isn’t worth the risk.

"The dog owner may find themselves prosecuted for criminal damage, and tragically the dog itself may lose its life, due to the negligence of its owner.

“Livestock worrying doesn’t just include sheep and lambs being bitten – when a dog chases a sheep around a field, ewes may abort their lambs, or they may die due to a crush, or the stress.

“The answer to all this is simple – keep your dog on a lead, and under control, anywhere near livestock.”