Take care when walking in the countryside

WITH the weather improving and the Easter holidays around the corner many people are visiting the countryside to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery in Wales but with lambing in full swing the FUW is asking dog walkers to take extra care to reduce the risks to heavily pregnant ewes and newly born lambs.

“Once again we are calling on the support of the public to help minimise incidents of attacks on livestock by dogs,” said FUW land use and parliamentary committee chairman Gavin Williams.

“With the weather warming up many people want to visit the countryside, so we are appealing to dog owners to follow the Countryside Code to keep their dogs under close control, preferably on a lead when using public paths where livestock is present.

“Of course we don’t want to alienate dog walkers by advocating draconian measures, but we would ask that owners keep dogs on a lead around livestock , as the number of reported sheep worrying incidents in on the increase,” added Mr Williams.

The union has supported the Farmers Guardian “take the lead” campaign since its launch last year and continues to spread the message to the farming and non-farming community. “If you see livestock in a field, even if there is a public footpath, please keep your dog on a lead. Sheep suffer greatly when they are chased, worried or attacked by dogs and ewes may be extra protective of their young at this time of year.

“We want to work with the public on this matter and hope that with a common sense approach we can all enjoy the countryside together and keep our livestock and pets safe,” added Mr Williams.

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