UFU reminds dog owners to be responsible

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The Ulster Farmers Union is reminding all dogs owners who are visiting the countryside to ensure they have their pet under control at all times.

UFU deputy president, Victor Chestnutt said,
“The issue of livestock worrying has not gone away and is a constant concern for farmers, we urge everyone to make sure they have their dog under control at all times. It is not acceptable for any dog owner to allow their pet to roam freely through the countryside, especially where livestock reside. All dogs regardless of breed or size, pose a threat to livestock especially at this time of year when ewes are heavily pregnant and any chase by dogs no matter how small can result in a ewe aborting her unborn lambs. If owners lack control when in close proximity to livestock, the situation could escalate very quickly resulting in the death of one or more animals, causing serious financial loss and stress for the farmer.

Dog owners must ensure that their pet is always on a lead when they visit the countryside. If they live in a rural area or near farms, it is their responsibility to make sure that the correct measures have been taken so their dog cannot escape from their home and engage in a livestock worrying attack.”

Last year saw an increase in the number of dog incidents in rural areas and many dog owners have been substantially fined and held accountable for the actions of their pet during 2019.

“No one wants to start a new year with a possible court appearance hanging over them because they didn’t have their dog on a lead and under control. This dire situation can be easily avoided, and I appeal to all dog owners to practise responsible dog ownership and play their part in helping to minimise the risk of livestock attacks. I also encourage all UFU members to report any incidences of livestock worrying to their local dog warden for investigation. With all involved parties working collaboratively, incidences of livestock worrying can be greatly reduced,” said the UFU deputy president.

More information on livestock worrying can be found on the UFU website at www.ufuni.org

Please check the dog policy for the walk before you go. This information can be found within the walk listing on WalkNI.