Wildlife charity asks dog owners to be vigilant

SUSSEX Wildlife Trust are calling for dog owners to viligant and keep a careful eye on their pets during lambing season.

Some Sussex lambs at the Seven Sisters Sheep Centre
Some Sussex lambs at the Seven Sisters Sheep Centre

During the Spring season, pregnant Ewes are vulnerable and over the past few years there has been an increase in sheep attacks on Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve where grazing animals are used to help manage habitats.

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Michael Blencowe, Lewes wildlife community officer, wrote about his experience of watching in horror as a dog tore into a lamb on the Sussex WIldelife Blog. He said: “The friendly dog we had met previously was savagely tearing the sheep apart – it was going crazy! With the sun setting over Sussex the scene looked like something from the Serengeti.

“Sheep attacks are a growing problem on farms all across the UK. Aside from the distress caused to the sheep these attacks cause distress to the farmers, the vets who have to treat the wounded animals and hikers and other dog walkers who witness the attack. In my experience of dog attacks on our reserves it is especially distressing for the dog owners themselves who are shocked to see their dog behave in such a way and can often be unable to stop it. So we ask dog walkers to be extra vigilant when walking through an area where sheep are present and keep their dogs under close control to ensure that a walk in the countryside is an enjoyable experience for all – especially you and your dog.