Taking care with your dogs around grazing animals

Dog walking on a lead

Devon is a beautiful place to walk, and taking the dog along the coast path and through the fields is a wonderful way to get back to nature, and enjoy the fresh coastal air.

Animal stress

However, farmers in the area often struggle with dogs off leads near their cattle and sheep. Pregnant sheep are often so stressed, that the farmer can lose both the lamb and the sheep. Pregnant sheep can abort their young and die from the stress. It isn't just dogs biting or attacking grazing animals that is the problem. If dogs chase younger animals, they can become separated from their mothers, and die from starvation or exposure.

Spot lambs in the springtime
Sheep and lambs at a National Trust site.

Neospora cattle disease

There is also growing evidence to suggest that dog excrement in fields containing livestock, could be contributing to a disease that causes cattle to abort. You can read more about this issue here.

Pick it up!

Please pick up dog mess, even in fields and keep dogs on lead wherever animals are present, or could be. Not only does this help keep grazing farm animals less stressed, but when the rangers are strimming, they don't get sprayed with anything unpleasant!