UFU issues warning to dog owners
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"During spring, Northern Ireland’s (NI) countryside plays home to many pregnant ewes and newborn lambs. Dogs should not be allowed to disturb these animals.
"I would remind all dog owners whether walking along rural roads or through the countryside next to fields and farms, that dogs must be kept under control as there is the potential for livestock worrying.
“It is a dog’s natural instinct to chase, and this could result in injury or death of those sheep who fall foul to the actions of irresponsible dog owners.
"Sheep that have been chased by dogs in the past and have survived, never fully recover from the attack. The welfare of livestock is a priority for farmers and any attack on sheep is also an attack on the farmer’s livelihood.
“The safest and most appropriate thing for all dog walkers to do is to always keep their dog(s) on a lead when out exploring - I cannot emphasis this enough. When dog owners do not keep their dogs on a lead and act responsibly, there are consequences.
“Farmers should report livestock worrying incidents to their local dog warden for investigation. In NI, dog wardens are employed by each of the eleven local councils and can be contacted via the telephone.”