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Close footpaths during lambing

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by rona, May 17, 2017.


  1. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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  2. Michebe

    Michebe PetForums Member

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    Poor sheep and lambs :( doesn't seem like there is any alternative really.
     
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  3. 3dogs2cats

    3dogs2cats PetForums VIP

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    Shutting off footpaths during lambing seasons seems a sensible thing to do.
     
  4. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    *Seems* like a good idea, but i doubt it would have much impact.

    Ive been following a few attacks via the local police, and in nearly all cases it was a loose dog, no owner in sight, and no footpath across the field.

    The attacks we had in my surrounding area last year were down to dogs escaping their properties. Sadly many country homes are so huge that the gardens are not fenced in, and dogs are simply expected to stay on their owners land. This clearly doesnt happen.

    Invisible fencing (along with anti-bark)collars are also common in my neck of the woods, and clearly not very effective.

    Im not convinced its walking through fields that the problem, but lack of control, lack of recall and general human ignorance.

    I would imagine that the vast majority of attacks are done well out of sight of an owner, and simply by a dog popping over a fence and having at it.
     
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  5. PawsOnMe

    PawsOnMe PetForums VIP

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    One of our local farmers moves his sheep and lambs into fields away from the footpath going through his lands, I've always thought this was a good idea. The footpath is a very popular walking route both to get to the river and to get to the neighbouring village so I doubt it can be closed.

    I think it's a good idea to close the footpaths during lambing season but I can't help but think that the people who let their dogs off lead around sheep and lambs aren't going to care and go through anyway.
     
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  6. FeelTheBern

    FeelTheBern They don't like it up 'em, sir!

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    I think closing footpaths during lambing season would be a smart idea. I occasionally walk dogs and I am very cautious of where they are allowed off-lead at this time of year. When you think about the possibilities, it's pretty worrying. As fences are often pretty pathetic, you have to be very careful. Even walking your dog on footpaths near sheep fields can be dangerous as the dog could easily scramble under fences.
     
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  7. Legshand

    Legshand PetForums Member

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    Great Recall

     
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  8. Chellie

    Chellie PetForums Member

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    I think it would be a great idea. Luckily there are many places to walk near me that are livestock free but my favourite walk (which is a really popular dog walk) is on fields that are sometimes rented out to farmers for livestock grazing. The trouble is that you can't see if the sheep are on the far field until you are nearly there. There is a sign on the gate to the field but again, any loose dogs would have seen the sheep by then and it could be too late.

    I have asked the owner of the land (local charity Trust) if they could put a post up on Facebook to at least let regular walkers know that there are sheep on the field. They asked the farmer if he could let them know when he plans to graze his livestock so they can put warnings up earlier. The farmers response was that he was 'too busy' to make a phone call!

    I know a high point that I can go to to check for sheep before I start to walk that way but many people would not even know to check so the farmer is not helping the matter at all by not finding a couple of minutes to phone the Trust. Closing the paths when the sheep are there would solve this problem for people accompanied dogs to some extent.
     
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  9. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Wouldn't work in lots of areas around here, there is lots of open access/common land (not sure of the correct term?) where sheep graze that cannot be closed, short of shutting down dozens of villages and huge chunks of countryside! In these places you are expected to be careful year round, and not just when walking your dog but when you are driving...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Legshand

    Legshand PetForums Member

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    I dont think it would be legaly straight forwards in temp shutting a lot of those country rights of way, many of them come under ancient charters and all kinds of legaly complicated things, or, maybe not complicated.
    Take into account those rights of way of antiquity were there long before the current landowners & its not uncommon to find a public right of way running right through the middle of a crop field
     
  11. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    Although loose dogs can still do damage, I think it's probably far less in an open environment because if a dog catches a sheep, the others can get away, unlike those in an enclosed field
     
  12. Elles

    Elles PetForums VIP

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    No. It wouldn't work, in some areas it would be impossible and some footpaths are cut throughs that would mean doubling back and walking miles extra if one was closed. The footpaths were there before the farmer and I'm afraid he has to allow the public access to them.

    We have a popular footpath that runs along the top of some of the horses' fields. We had to put temporary fencing up when they're in there. We can't expect dog owners to not walk there when the horses are in the field and too many dog walkers are idiots who can't control their off lead dogs.

    How do they know it's always dog walkers' fault anyway? Loose dogs aren't always with a person and what about foxes? Not so long ago dead lambs were all the foxes' fault. :(
     
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  13. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Wouldn't work. They'd have to shut off most of the National Parks for a start.

    What we really need is people to keep their dogs on leads and under control.

    I genuinely fear that we will head down the path of the USA where dogs will have to be on a lead all the time. Not that that would be enforceable either, as apparently most people ignore that where it is already in place.
     
  14. jamat

    jamat PetForums VIP

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    I know a farmer back home where my parents live in Wales and he ran fences down each side of the public foot paths across his land...put gates in each fence wide enough to block the foot path (like railway crossings) so he could move his sheep between fields...everyone is happy walkers can walk with dogs and the sheep were protected
     
  15. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Legally, temporary footpath closures have to be looked at individually, notices go up showing alternative routes and the closure reviewed. There 'rights of way' and there would rightly be protests against these 'rights' being removed from people (many of whom are not dog owners).
     
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  16. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    From a "damage limitation" point of view I think it's worth doing in suitable situations, such as low lying, securely fenced areas.

    Fencing is often woefully inadequate ime which won't stop a determined dog, especially an escapee though.

    Much clearer, insistent and earlier signage might help - often the sign is only seen after the dog has passed the "safe zone".

    So a multi-pronged approach is required.

    It wouldn't cause me any great hardship to alter my route temporarily, either.
     
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  17. foxiesummer

    foxiesummer PetForums VIP

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    Round here it's common knowledge that any dog found in a field of sheep will be shot irrespective if it is worrying them or not. And it's happened.
     
  18. trio25

    trio25 PetForums Member

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    Round here I would be stuck for places to walk, my dogs don't go off lead as there are so many sheep and one would jump any wall or fence to get to them. It might be doable in more urban areas but I live in a national park and I don't fancy the only option to walk my dogs being along national speed limit roads with no footpaths.
     
  19. Legshand

    Legshand PetForums Member

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    I think you'll find that Wales can make 'many' of its own laws on things such as public rights of way & which westminster has no say in them, same for scoland & ulster.
     
  20. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    Footpaths are often temporarily closed for many reasons including wildlife, such as nesting birds, I can't see why we can't have a method in place for farmers to apply for temporary closure. Particularly if they can give an alternative route
     
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