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Dogs in the countryside - your responsibilities

on Mon, 03/06/2019 - 2:19pm

Wherever you go, follow these steps to keep your dog safe, show consideration for others & protect the environment.

  • Always keep control of your dog - don't let it scare or disturb people, other animals & wildlife.
  • For safety, keep your dog on a lead on roads and in public areas.
  • You do not have to put your dog on a lead on public footpaths, as long as it is under close control. But as a general rule, keep your dog on a lead if you cannot rely on its obedience. By law, farmers are entitled to destroy a dog that injures or worries their animals.
  • Over open country and common land, you must keep your dog on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July - and all year round near farm animals - and you may not be able to take your dog at all on some areas or at some times. Always follow any official signs.
  • If a farm animal chases you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead - don't risk getting hurt by trying to protect it.
  • Take particular care that your dog doesn't scare sheep and lambs, or wander where it might disturb birds that nest on the ground and other wildlife.
  • Everyone knows how unpleasant dog mess is and it can cause infections, so always clean up after your dog and get rid of the mess responsibly.
  • Make sure your dog is wormed regularly to protect it, other animals and people.