As the first signs of spring are starting to show in the Lake District, it’s essential to keep dogs under control while out in the countryside as lambing season approaches.
Andrea Meanwell, the Lake District National Park’s Farming Officer says: “It’s a really busy time for our farmers with many sleepless nights ahead so we’re encouraging people to remember to keep their dogs under effective control and preferably on leads when near livestock. Also, it’s important for people to take their pet’s mess home with them to keep sheep safe and stop the spread of diseases.
To help remind people of this simple safety message the Lake District National Park Authority is giving out free signs to farmers. The signs, which can easily be displayed on fences and gates, are biodegradable and it’s hoped that they will limit the number of sheep worrying incidents throughout the Lake District this year.
“Ewes are at their most vulnerable just now and being chased by a dog can end up with sheep being killed or maimed and the stress can easily cause them to miscarry,” Andrea says.
“And, once the lambs arrive it’s really important that they don’t get separated from their mum so that they can keep them fed and happy. It’s vitally important that dogs should not be in an area where sheep with lambs are grazing.”
“It’s obviously a serious animal welfare concern, but it’s also one of the biggest causes of worry for farmers at this time and the emotional stress and financial cost is huge.”
“In addition to prominently displaying these signs, it makes sense for farmers to ensure that their boundaries are in good order to keep sheep safely where they should be.
“We’d encourage visitors to areas where there is livestock present to take heed of the signs, close gates after themselves and keep their pet dogs under effective control.”
To request signs please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo shows a ewe and newly born lambs in the Tebay area.