This is an archived press release
Thursday 23 March 2006
23 March 2006
Keep dogs on leads in countryside this spring and summer
Peak District dog-walkers are asked to keep their pets on short leads on moors and farmland until the end of July as the breeding season gets into full swing.
Peak District National Park rangers, rural police, the Countryside Agency, Kennel Club and English Nature all remind walkers to keep their dogs under close control during this sensitive time for farm animals and wildlife.
Jenny Waller, senior ranger, said: “We are delighted to see people walking their dogs in the countryside, but they do need to be aware that their pets should be on short, two-metre leads from March to the end of July.
“Sheep and lambs can be badly injured by dogs now that it is the lambing season. In addition, this is the breeding time for ground-nesting birds like curlew and lapwing, which we are trying to encourage, and wild creatures such as hares, which could easily be disturbed by dogs off a lead.”
“We ask all dog-owners, for their own and their pets’ safety, as well as for the creatures concerned, to keep their dogs on short leads on moors and farmland until the end of the breeding season.”
In certain circumstances farmers are legally entitled to shoot at dogs worrying livestock, and the owners can be liable to fines of up to £1,000.
However, she added, in the unfortunate event of being chased by livestock such as cattle: “The best advice is to get out of the field as quickly as possible, let go of the lead and let the dog fend for itself – a dog can easily out-run a cow – but call it to you as soon as you are out of danger.”
For more information on the Countryside Code, what to do and where to go in the countryside, visit www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk