Dog kills sheep

Dog kills sheep

Nash's Meadows © Wendy Carter

Dog owners are being urged to keep their dogs on a lead when walking on nature reserves and in fields with livestock.

The call comes as sheep were attacked by a dog in south Worcestershire last week, leaving one lamb dead and three ewes injured. The attack took place at Nash’s Meadow, near Upton-upon-Severn, a nature reserve owned and managed by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.

Rob Allen, Reserves Team Leader for the county’s leading conservation charity, explained “We’re very lucky that the farmer whose sheep graze this site was on site and that more damage wasn’t done.

“We ask people to keep dogs on leads on all our nature reserves in order to keep our wildlife safe. Whilst this helps the less visible animals like ground-nesting birds during spring and summer and mammals like dormice that spend autumn and winter hibernating at ground-level, it also helps to ensure that any livestock is also safe.”

Sheep, cattle and horses are used to graze many of the Trust’s nature reserves during autumn and winter. Their grazing helps to control fast-growing grasses, which allows delicate wildflowers to thrive.

Sheep remain at Nash’s Meadows as well as at other nature reserves in the area and throughout the county.

Rob added “The dog owner in question has agreed to pay the farmer’s vet bills that have arisen due to this situation. It is, however, worth all dog owners remembering that it is illegal for a dog to worry sheep and that a person can be found guilty of their dog worrying without their dog having had physical contact with the animals.”