Our usual timely reminder to all dog owners about keeping their dogs under control when near livestock unfortunately takes on a more serious tone this year. We have recently had two sheep chased and attacked by a dog. The quick action of a neighbour in frightening the dog off and contacting us meant that we managed to save the sheep, one of which had been chased into the boggy area next to a pond and had to be lifted out of the mud. The wound in her neck then had to be stitched back together. Had we not been alerted to the problem we would have certainly found a dead sheep stuck in the mud next morning.
The dog in question is a perfectly normal family pet, so all those people who, when asked to put their dogs on leads, tell us “our dog never chases sheep” take note. As with all dogs of any size you can never trust them totally. I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask once again that all dogs should be permanently on a lead whenever you are crossing grazing land, whether you can see the livestock or not, or near farm buildings where hens and ducks may be roaming.