“Protect your dog, protect livestock” say police

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Thu 4th April 2024

Derbyshire Police are urging pooch owners to “protect your dog, protect livestock.”
The message comes as the force has been carrying out their Springtime campaign called ‘Operation Recall.’
A police spokesman said: “We’re supporting a national campaign urging dog walkers to keep their pets safe and under control around livestock.
“Operation Recall has the key message of: Protect your dog. Protect livestock.”
They continued: “In Derbyshire, we’re extremely lucky to be surrounded by countryside to walk in and enjoy. However, this countryside is also a workplace for many and home to thousands of sheep, cows and other livestock.
“A dog chasing or attacking livestock is a crime and can cause emotional and financial damage for both farmer and the dog’s owner.”
Derbyshire Police spoke to farmer Gaby and dog trainer Caroline about why dog owners should keep their dogs under close control whilst out and about.
Gaby said: “It can actually cause people to choose to leave farming altogether, after a serious dog attack. The stress can be that much financially, and emotionally, that people choose not to do it anymore.
“You don’t always find out about an attack initially, so you might go to check on your animals and find out that one of them has been injured or killed. And that is the most horrendous thing to come across.”
Caroline’s advice for dog owners: “Make sure you’re present with your dog while you’re walking.
“You might have taken a great picture, but you don’t need to upload it to your social media at that point. Watch your dog and know its body language to check if it’s about to do something it shouldn’t.
“Yes, nine times out of ten your dog is well trained, and it won’t [chase sheep]. But can you guarantee 100 per cent that it won’t? And could you deal with the trauma of your animal injuring another animal, and potentially being injured itself or having restrictions.”

Read more, and hear from Derbyshire Police’s Rural Crime Team here

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