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Lambing season is upon us! dog walkers are urged to be careful around sheep !!

As you may not know lambing season is a subject close to my heart . After having the wonderful experience of being able to be involved in hand rearing my 2 boys . It can also be very heartbreaking when things go wrong . Farmers work hard all year to the lead up of the season and want it to go as smoothly as possible. Here is some information about lambing season .

Around 16 million lambs are born in the UK every year Between January and April , making it one of the busiest times in the whole farming calendar. Sadly however, the number of attacks on livestock has increased and consequently many sheep are being attacked, injured or killed . Of course our four legged companions (although dogs are usually domesticated) do have a strong predator drive and it is inherent in them to chase livestock, especially sheep! Resulting in detrimental affect upon their victims. For example, pregnant ewes can abort their lambs due to this stressful experience and young lambs can often be separated from their mothers during a chase and may sadly die of starvation and/or hypothermia, having been abandoned.

Here are a few tips to remember when walking your dogs near livestock.

do keep your dog on a lead and under your strict control

ensure your dog is docile and obedient

don’t allow your dog to chase or take an interest in sheep – or cute lambs!

do be in charge and have full control at all times

train your dog not to be aggressive when around sheep

don’t be complacent – and stay alert at all times!

Remember, under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, dog owners may face prosecution (often resulting in severe penalties) and also a dog may sadly be shot, if it is found to be chasing a farmer’s livestock!