Its Lambing Season across the Ashdown Forest

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Lambing Season is approaching and its time to make sure that any dogs are kept on leads when they are anywhere near livestock.

Sadly every year during the spring, many sheep are mauled to death by dogs who’s owners either don’t care or mistakenly think their dog will do as its told when near heavily pregnant sheep! There are also many sheep who need considerable veterinary care and even if they survive they will frequently loose their lambs. This must be distressing for the farmers and sheep owners, the sheep themselves and the owners of the dogs.

If you walk your dogs on the Forest, at this time of year :

* Please keep them on a lead.
* Be aware of the areas where sheep and cattle are grazing – there is information on the Conservators website www,
* If you see dogs worrying sheep please report them to the Forest Rangers and or the Police
* Be aware that worrying sheep is a crime
* Also be aware that dogs worrying sheep may be shot.
* Consider sheep proofing your dogs – there are regular sessions run by the Conservators which train dogs not to worry sheep. The Conservators will be running training sessions again this year however as yet the dates have not been set

There was an appalling incident at Plawhatch Farm this week when two dogs – a Labrador and a smaller dark dog killed many sheep, mauled others and then ran off. To my knowledge the owners have not been found as yet. Sadly those sheep that have not already died either due to their injuries or the shock of being chased, are now loosing their lambs. This is very distressing for all concerned and will cause a considerable financial loss to the farm.

Please keep your dogs on a lead when near livestock – especially at this time of year.  Make sure that your dog doesn’t worry sheep!