Police are encouraging dog walkers to act responsibly whilst out with their dogs, particularly when around livestock.
Reports have been made of livestock being worried by dogs which is a criminal offence. Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure that their animals are kept under control and whilst it is appreciated that the vast majority do so, there are a few that are still not getting the message. At this time of year many sheep are heavily pregnant and any additional distress caused could result in loss of lambs as well as the risk of death to the sheep.
Sheep can die purely from being frightened and don’t necessarily have to have physical contact from dogs. This not only has an impact on the animals themselves but can also be distressing for the farmers as well as adversely affecting their business.
Sergeant Brian Calver, of the Rural Crime Team, said: “In order to avoid these situations arising, police would urge the public to take extra care when out and about and always ensure your dog is secured on a lead whenever you’re near livestock.
“We would ask that dog owners to share this message with as many people as possible to get the message across. Police do take this type of offending seriously and we will investigate any offences that are reported to us.”
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful county but we need to remember that we all have a duty to act responsibly. We need to protect the countryside now and for future generations, so if you are out and about with your dog please make sure it is not a danger or nuisance to farm animals, horses, wildlife or other people.”