*Warning graphic content*
It has happened again.
There has been yet another dog attack on a sheep. It is a common occurrence in the farming world, with new cases of livestock worrying appearing on my social media timelines daily.
But this time it’s closer to home and I am beyond devastated for our neighbours who discovered their sheep half mangled, flesh dropping off and unable to eat, the other day.
The infuriating part is that the person and dog responsible for destroying a perfectly healthy ewe simply left as if nothing happened, leaving this traumatised sheep suffering in the field alone.
They did not even tell the farmer.
And that angers me.
Why don’t people take responsibility for their dog’s actions?! Why is it so hard to use a lead around livestock?!
One solution would be to yell “GET OFF MY LAND” and deny walkers and their beloved dogs access for good. But farmers are not this stereotype.
Sure, these are working landscapes but we LOVE seeing people appreciate and enjoy the great outdoors as much as we love working day in day out to maintain, protect and enhance it.
Importantly, most walkers and their dogs do abide by the countryside code and have the upmost respect for its inhabitants. And I could not shout thank you loud enough to these people!
So, closing off fields and denying access would be the worst-case solution for everyone.
The solution is therefore obvious: be responsible and use a lead around livestock.
After-all, you cannot control your dog’s actions just like you cannot control what the person next to you is thinking – so why take a risk that has the potential to destroy lives and livelihoods, both for the farmer and yourself?
Livestock worrying is a CRIME.
I wonder how many more gory photos of blood-soaked wounded sheep it will take for this message to hit home?
Or perhaps a photograph of a dog legally shot dead as a result of worrying livestock would help the message sink in?
Save us all the heartache and use a lead around livestock. It really is that simple.