Rural Watch – East Shropshire
Information as it becomes available in regards thefts and warnings in your area.
Rural News from around the PatchG
***** THIS IS A URGENT WARNING TO ALL DOG OWNERS *****
RURAL WATCH HAS RECEIVED SEVERAL REPORTS OF SHEEP WORRYING in the COUNTY
WE HAVE REPORTS FROM THE STAPLEFORD / ACKLETON Areas where we have had three reported case involving around 20 plus sheep
A Husky type dog has been i.d. as a possible dog involved
Criminal Damage – Sheep Worrying
Overnight between Sunday – Monday 2/3rd December, a suspected dog described as a black-faced Alsatian, attacked and killed two sheep at a farm at Wolverley, between Wem and Welshampton. Six other sheep were injured and had to be destroyed. (Incident 0270s 031218.) Note: a dog problem was reported at Whixall where 28 animals had been lost over two months. (Incident: 0639s 271118.)
Here is a summary of the LAW from the National Sheep Ass.
Staying legal in England and Wales
Here is a summary of the key points of legislation affecting dogs around sheep in England and Wales, to help you feel confident that you and your pet are staying within the law when in farming areas.
Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, if a dog worries sheep on agricultural land, the person in charge of the dog is guilty of an offence. The Act considers sheep worrying to include attacking sheep, chasing them in a way that may cause injury, suffering, abortion or loss of produce or being at large (not on a lead or otherwise under close control) in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep.
The Countryside and Right of Way Act (CROW Act) sets out public rights of access to open land and the restrictions to these rights. Although CROW allows anyone on to open access land (land you can access without having to use paths, including mountains, moorland, heaths, downs and registered common land) for recreation, the Act states that the public can only go on this land if they keep dogs on a fixed lead of 2 metres or less near livestock. The owner of open access land can close areas containing sheep to dogs for up to six weeks once a year, as a safeguard during lambing. Trained guide and hearing dogs are still allowed in these areas during this closure.
The Countryside Code in England and Wales
The Countryside Code offers advice on walking your dog near livestock, as well as other information on how to enjoy a safe and responsible trip to a rural area in England and Wales. Excerpts from the Countryside Code say: “When you take your dog into the outdoors always ensure it does not disturb wildlife, farm animals, horses or other people by keeping it under effective control … It is always good practice to keep your dog on a lead around farm animals … Keep your dog in sight at all times, be aware of what it’s doing and be confident it will return to you promptly on command … Ensure it does not stray off the path or area where you have a right of access.” The Code also reminds walkers that a farmer ‘may shoot a dog which is attacking or chasing farm animals without being liable to compensate the dog’s owner’.