16th February, 2017
Further to reports in the national media this week that the scale of dog attacks on sheep is 10 times worse than feared*, The Parks Trust is saddened to report that five of its sheep have been attacked by a dog, three fatally.
These attacks took place within less than 24 hours of the sheep returning to Campbell Park, where they are a popular sight as they graze the area. The sheep were returned to Campbell Park late Wednesday afternoon after spending the winter in different locations across the city, including Home Farm and Passenham. The three dead sheep were then discovered at 7.15am Thursday morning.
On further inspection of the flock it was clear that two more had been attacked, with the rest of the flock very skittish.
Rob Riekie, Landscape and Operations Director, commented: “We were devastated to discover the dead sheep this morning, so soon after the flock returned to Campbell Park.
“While we know that the majority of dog owners who use our parks are responsible and understand the importance of keeping their pets on the lead around sheep, there are some who do not take this as seriously as they should.
“Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 it is an offence to allow a dog to worry sheep and this includes both attacking and chasing them. Dog owners need to be aware of the damage their pets can cause, and appreciate that dogs can legally be seized and/or destroyed if they are endangering or worrying sheep.
“We placed signage around Campbell Park the week before the sheep returned, installed cattle grids and kissing gates, and also published details on social media, to ensure the many dog owners that use the area knew the sheep would be in the park.
“The evidence points to a small or medium sized dog, and we truly hope this will be a one-off incident. We urge anyone who has any information on these attacks to come forward and contact ourselves or Thames Valley Police.”
Please call Thames Valley police on 101 quoting URN 290 16/02/17.