Warning to dog walkers after sheep is killed

DOGS could be shot dead if they worry livestock near Compton Bishop.

DOGS could be shot dead if they worry livestock near Compton Bishop.

A sheep was killed on a farm near the peaceful Somerset village last month and now the farmer, who wishes to remain anonymous, has warned he will carry a shotgun when he checks on his animals.

The farmer is legally entitled to shoot any dog that is worrying sheep. The canine does not have to be biting or chasing the sheep before it can be shot.

All dog owners in the area have been advised to keep their dog under close control or on a lead no more than two metres long.

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The National Trust will be putting up warning signs advising dog owners to be responsible for ensuring their pet does not worry sheep and wardens have been instructed to report any incidents. A warning has also been posted on the parish website, www.comptonbishop.org

Livestock worrying can be expensive and, according to the National Farmers Union, costs the industry £2million per year.

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If dogs worry sheep if can make them ill, abort unborn babies or even kill them. The stress of being chased by a canine can also lead to death.

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