Scarborough and Whitby dog owners urged to keep pets under control in countryside

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

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 11:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 11:28 am

The warning follows an incident in which a pregnant sheep was killed in a suspected dog attack on moorland near Danby earlier this month.

This reminder also comes just before the Easter break which coincides with the 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.

Dog owners around Scarborough and Whitby are urged to keep their dogs under control in the countryside.

Country Land and Business Assoication (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.”

Top tips for those using the countryside

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

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