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Warning to Surrey and Hampshire dog owners this Easter weekend

Warning to Surrey and Hampshire dog owners this Easter weekend

Published by Josh Kerr at 6:00am 19th April 2019.

Dog owners in Surrey and Hampshire are being warned to keep their pets under control this Easter weekend.

Rural insurer NFU Mutual is reminding people to keep their pooches on leads when out walking over fears of livestock worrying - where dogs chase or attack animals like sheep.

Deemed to be a crime, animal worrying can lead to fines or even court orders for dogs to be destroyed.

Rachel Davidson from NFU Mutual explains that farmers could also be allowed to kill a dog:

"In terms of shooting dogs, it's always going to be a very last resort and it's not something that a farmer would want to do.

"But if there's no other way of getting that dog under control and they're attacking animals, then they're legally allowed to do so.

"However what we'd urge people to do is to not get into that situation in the first place."

She adds it's not only when walking our pets we need to be careful:

"Make sure your boundaries at home are secure as well, because we're getting increasing numbers of reports of dogs that are escaping from homes close to fields and are also causing a lot of these attacks."

Advice for dog owners:

  • Always keep dogs on the lead when walking them in rural areas where livestock are kept
  • Be aware that even small lap dogs can attack and kill farm animals
  • Report attacks by dogs and sightings of dogs roaming the countryside to local farmers or the police
  • Familiarise puppies with farm livestock from a young age to reduce the risk of them attacking sheep or cattle as adult dogs
  • Don’t let dogs loose in gardens adjoining livestock fields – many attacks are caused by dogs which escape and attack sheep grazing nearby

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