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‘Lack of respect for our livestock’

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A HERD of sheep has been moved off L’Ancresse Common after the same dog attacked them twice in a week.

Farmer Jason Niles said the herd was attacked by the same dog with the same owner and he felt he had no choice but to take them away from the area.

‘We have had a run of dogs getting into the pen and chasing the sheep out,’ he said.

‘We had one sheep who got pretty hurt the other day so I’ve had to move them out. The sheep will be back on the common, I’m not giving up but I can’t keep risking my herd.’

The herd had been grazing at the Pembroke end of L'Ancresse Common. (Picture by Tony Rive)

The herd have now been moved to a field near Beaucette Marina. The same sheep was injured in both attacks and is being treated by vets.

‘We really need to get this problem sorted out, but how?’ said Mr Niles.

Grazing only returned to the common within the last two years and there have been problems in the past with the animals’ electric fence being vandalised.

The number of sheep attacks has risen sharply in the last few weeks.

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Marcel Worley’s herd, which is grazed on privately-owned farmland, has been attacked three times over the last 10 days.

Mr Worley believes there is a need to distinguish between the issues facing livestock.

He believed that there are other, more effective, ways to prevent livestock worrying, such as making it unlawful to have a dog off the lead in public spaces.

‘It seems that some people have no respect for wildlife and livestock,’ he said.

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‘A trespass law enforcement would help.’

He felt that dog owners were not doing enough.

‘People think that sheep fencing is inadequate to keep dogs out,’ he said.

[But] it’s not down to the farmer to keep dogs out. Nor post on dog walking forums or put up signs. A dog will travel a mile plus to find sheep so where do we put the signs? A mile away? two miles away? 100 metres away?’

Mr Worley stated that the vast majority of owners would not take responsibility and simply take their dog and leave the clean up and veterinary care to the farmer.

‘We as livestock keepers shouldn’t have to do more,’ he said.

‘It’s takes a lot of time to look after and move sheep. The sheep are where they should be, dogs should be on leads. It’s privately-owned farmland – livestock are expected to be there.’

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