Dog owners urged by village group to keep pets on a tighter leash

PUBLISHED: 14:28 30 August 2012

Archant

A COMMUNITY group has called on dog owners to keep a tighter grip on their animals after a spate of sheep deaths.

Mary Short, who is the former chairman of the Millennium Green Trust in Congresbury and now part of the management committee, has spoken out about concerns among villagers.

Earlier this month, Avon Fire Service was called out to rescue a small herd of a rare breed of sheep from the River Yeo.

The herd had been used to keep the grass down on the small field belonging to the trust and one ewe was dead.

The next day the service was called again to pull a distressed sheep out of the water.

Ms Short said: “The owner, who checks his herd twice a day, was very upset to find one ewe dead and a lamb with injuries to its neck. He is certain the sheep were chased into the river by a dog.

“The small field is a wildlife sensitive area from which dogs are banned.

“Dog owners are not thinking. They do not realise the damage their dog can do.”

Ms Short said she believes farmers’ herds have been put at risk even more after a series of battery thefts – from electric fences – in the area.

One post earlier this month on the Horse Watch Avon and Somerset Constabulary Facebook page said: “Fencers and batteries have been stolen from stable yards located in Dolemoor Lane and Silver Street in Congresbury North Somerset.

“It appears the thieves are getting access via the Strawberry Line from the A370.”

Ms Short said: “The farmer put up electric fences to keep the sheep safe, but then the battery was stolen. There has been a spate of thefts from garages and sheds in Congresbury, and so he did not put the electric fence up.

“The farmers are concerned about their batteries being stolen, which then leaves the sheep exposed. There is not a huge amount of theft in Congresbury so when a spate of the crime occurs it’s a big concern.

“If anyone has any information on the herd incidents contact the parish office on 01934 838802.”


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