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Dog owners reminded to keep their pets under control around sheep

10 Feb 2024 2 minute read
Ewes and their lambs can become separated if they’re chased by dogs

With lambing season well underway, people are being reminded to keep their dogs under control around livestock.

There continue to be too many dog attacks on sheep and other livestock which have emotional, financial and animal welfare implications.

Research has found most incidents involving dogs attacking sheep take place on land not accessible to the public.

Countryside Code

Wales, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths and Rural and Wildlife Crime Coordinator Rob Taylor are urging dog owners to understand their responsibilities and familiarise themselves with Natural Resources Wales’ Countryside Code.

This includes:

  • keeping dogs on a lead or in sight and owners should be confident they will return on command.
  • dogs should not stray from the path or area where there is a right of access.
  • on open access land, dogs must be on a lead between 1 March and 31 July, even if there are no livestock present. This is a legal requirement.

Lesley Griffiths said: “Responsible dog ownership is key in keeping lambs, sheep and all other livestock safe.

“We know most dog owners do the right thing in keeping their dogs under control, but there are some who do not.

“There have been harrowing images of when attacks do happen and by taking the appropriate steps these can be prevented.”


Wales Rural and Wildlife Crime Coordinator, Rob Taylor added: “Attacks on livestock are completely preventable through responsible dog ownership. Sadly, attacks on pregnant ewes or newborn lambs at this time of year do still occur.

“We ask that owners are aware of the risks, use a precautionary approach in controlling their dog and understand the route on which they take them to exercise.

“An attack on livestock may result in their pet being shot, or euthanised on a court order. Nobody wants to see that happening.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

Absolutely keep dogs under control during lambing and at any other time around sheep, but images of the end of life plan for these sheep is also very harrowing…

A warning to keep dogs under control around children and the elderly is sadly increasingly important these days too…Bring back the dog licence…

5 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Better still keep mentally unstable males away from owning certain breeds of dog. The link is very evident.

5 months ago

Forget all the caveats. All dogs on a lead at all times. Livestock are not the only ones in danger. People and young chidren are risk.

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