Important advice for Derbyshire dog walkers amid attack fears over Easter weekend
Officials are warning of a possible spike in dog attacks over the Easter weekend – as an influx of ‘pandemic puppies’ is set to visit the countryside for the very first time, coinciding with the peak of the lambing season.
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is offering advice for dog walks in the countryside to help a reported 2.2 million new dog owners understand how to protect their pet while keeping farm animals safe.
The CLA recommends dog walkers take the following action:
- Ensure your dog is under control. Keep your dog on a lead and only let go if you are chased by livestock
- Never let your dog worry or chase wildlife or livestock. Follow advice on local signs to reduce disturbance to plants and animals
- Prevent your dog from approaching horse riders, cyclists or other people and their dogs uninvited
- Keep your dog with you on paths or access land and don’t let it stray into crops including fields of grass, fruit and vegetables
- Never leave bags of dog poo lying around, even if you intend to pick them up later. Containers and deodorised bags can make them easier to carry
- Ensure your details are on your dog’s collar and it is microchipped so you can be reunited quickly if it is lost
Mark Riches, CLA Midlands regional director, said: “Getting a new dog is an exciting time, although it is also a huge learning curve.
“Worryingly, research shows that a third of dogs bought during lockdown have never even visited a park, let alone a working farm.
“With restrictions easing and lambing hitting its peak, we’re keen to remind people to protect their dog and keep farm animals safe, allowing everyone to enjoy the countryside together.
“We’re genuinely looking forward to welcoming the public to enjoy the thousands of miles of public rights of way and appreciate everything our beautiful region has to offer, but visitors must remember that the countryside is a place of work where the land, livestock, machinery, wildlife and environment must be respected,” he added.