Two separate sheep worrying incidents over the weekend have been reported to the Malvern Hills Trust.
The attacks come despite a plea last week from the Trust, asking dog owners to keep their dogs on leads near sheep and cattle on the Malvern Hills and Commons.
On Saturday a dog was caught by our wardens attacking a sheep near the West Malvern Road. The next day, Sunday, one of the graziers stopped another dog from chasing sheep near West of England car park. The stress of chase and attack could have caused the ewes to abort their lambs but thankfully, in this case, this didn't happen.
Graziers were able to speak to one of the owners immediately after the event to bring their attention to the seriousness of the attack. Please remember that sheep worrying is a crime and dog owners could be reported to the police.
Both of these incidents could have been completely avoided if the dogs were on a lead near the cattle and sheep.
Make sure you take the lead and encourage fellow dog owners to take theirs too. Thank you
What to do if you see a dog attack livestock
- Try and stop the dog - do not put yourself in danger but you may be able to distract the dog into stopping it's attack or grab it by the collar in an opportune moment
- Call 101 - livestock worrying, including chasing, is a criminal offence. Incidents should be reported to the police.
- Call Malvern Hills Trust - make sure you call the Trust offices on 01684 892002. This allows staff to get in touch with the grazier who will be able to attend. The faster the grazier can get to the potentially injured sheep, the faster the animal can receive treatment.
The Malvern Hills and Commons are registered Common Land. This means certain local people have legal rights to put livestock onto the land to graze without notice. Members of the public should therefore be ready to encounter livestock anywhere at anytime.
Cattle and sheep grazing the Malvern Hills within the grazing schemes are managed using temporary fencing. The location of the fencing and livestock are updated weekly in MHT's Stockwatch. An option to subscribe to the updates is available, allowing dog walkers to receive these updates directly to their email inbox.
Please be aware that temporary fencing is not completely livestock proof and dogs chasing livestock can force them out of the compartments. This, and the Common Land designation means you should be prepared to meet livestock at any time.