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Dog owners asked to keep pets under close control in countryside

Thursday 15 March 2018

Lambs in the Peak DistrictDog owners are urged to keep their pets on short leads to protect wildlife in the Peak District National Park.

During the breeding season of spring and early summer, new-born lambs and ground-nesting birds, such as lapwing, curlew and snipe, are particularly vulnerable to harm from dogs roaming free or on long leads.

By law, dogs must be under control on public rights of way and on a short lead on open access land from March 1 to July 31. In fields containing farm animals and nesting birds, it is sensible to keep dogs on leads.

Peak District National Park access and rights of way manager Mike Rhodes said: “Walking a dog is one of the joys of being in the countryside, but we need all dog owners to keep their pets under proper control during this sensitive time, which usually means being on a short lead.

“Ground nesting birds are particularly at risk, while sheep and lambs can also be badly injured or killed by uncontrolled dogs. For its own safety, never let a dog approach or chase farm animals or wildlife – your dog could get kicked, trampled or lost and it could be legally shot for chasing farm animals.

“It is not a legal requirement to use a lead on public paths, but you should be extra vigilant in the breeding season and always use a lead if you can’t rely on your dog’s obedience.”

Dogs are not allowed at all on some moors to protect sensitive breeding sites – and signs will indicate this on site.

To report incidents involving dogs on farmland or moors, call the police on 101. To ask for signs to go up in problem areas, please contact Peak District National Park on 01629 816200 (weekdays).

More advice can be found in the Countryside Code at www.naturalengland.org.uk/countrysidecode.

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