Keep your dog under control - WARNING: this article contains a distressing image
Speldhurst Parish Council
There have been a number of sheep injured or killed by dogs in recent weeks. Sheep have been killed at Poundsbridge (behind Penhurst Road and Bullingstone Lane) and over in Leigh. The use of footpaths across farmland has greatly increased during lockdown and dog walkers have been seen letting their dogs run free in farmland. Parish Councillor Dave Pate, who lives on a farm near Speldhurst, says “I have been out to a number of incidents of dog attacks in the area and it is an horrific scene that greets us. You can see the fear in the eyes of the sheep.”
Whilst shocking, the accompanying picture, taken after a recent attack in Speldhurst Parish, shows the damage done. This picture was the least gruesome of those taken by the farmer at the time.
It is actually against the law to allow a dog to attack or chase livestock. The dog must be under control i.e. on a lead in any field or enclosure of sheep. Infact, a farmer can protect their animals by killing the dog if necessary to protect their livestock.
Cllr Pate says “Whilst it is great that people are exercising locally and often with their dogs, they must remember they are often on private land, where livestock graze. It's vital that dogs are kept on leads all the time they are on farmland. We are approaching lambing when animals are especially vulnerable.”
The current attacks are being investigated and action will be taken against irresponsible owners of dogs. Please take care and keep your dog on a lead when near other animals.
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Langton Green Recreation Ground, Speldhurst Road, Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 0JJ