Clevedon Court insists all dogs must be kept on leads after sheep found dead

PUBLISHED: 11:55 05 April 2019

Clevedon Court. Picture: xlibber Flickr

Clevedon Court. Picture: xlibber Flickr

Archant

A National Trust site is calling for dog owners to keep their pets on leads after a sheep was mauled to death on its land.

Bosses at Clevedon Court, in Tickenham Road, have issued the warning after a lamb was chased and killed by a dog in a field near Court Woods on March 19.

Following a winter closure the grade-I listed building reopened yesterday (Wednesday) and the site wants to remind dog owners of their responsibilities.

Estate manager Vena Prater told the Times: “It was a very distressing incident for everyone who witnessed it; the dog owner, the farmer, the estate staff and the police who saw it from the motorway.

“Chasing by dogs can do serious damage to sheep, even if the dog doesn’t catch them, the stress can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs.

“Farmers and landowners want everyone to enjoy the countryside, but there is always a strong chance you will encounter sheep while out with your dog.

“Most people think they have control of their dogs, but chasing livestock is much more exciting to them than walking to heel.

“A couple of days later a dog was seen chasing a deer in the woods and the deer was screaming in fear, so we must now insist dogs are kept on leads at all times on estate land.

“Dog walkers must keep their pets under control, and if your dog is not good at recall, that means on a lead.”

A survey carried out by the trust found 60 per cent of dog walkers at South West sites allow their pets off the lead when in the countryside, despite it being a criminal offence to allow a dog to attack and maim livestock.

An Avon and Somerset Constabulary spokesman added: “We were called to reports of a dog attacking sheep in a field at Clevedon Court shortly after noon on March 19.

“A lamb was killed during the incident and police enquiries are continuing.

“Dog walkers are advised to keep their dogs on a lead and under control when near fields containing livestock.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact us, quoting reference 5219060748.”

The spokesman urged dog owners to follow the countryside code, which can be found here.

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