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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘The farmer who was legally allowed to shoot the dogs did not do so’

Police in the UK is warning dog owners to keep their pets under control after two dogs killed several sheep in the Moorlands.

Officers were called at 7am on Saturday, April 24th, to farmland on Rectory Road in Hollington following reports of animals injured.

Dogs killed sheep 

In a statement, a spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said: “Officers attended, and two German Shepherd dogs were reported killing sheep before running off.  A total of seven lambs and one ewe died.”

“Further livestock was also hurt, some of which have dependent lambs. The farmer, who was legally allowed to shoot the dogs, but did not do so, was later assisted by a local vet.”

Officers traced the owner of the dogs and confirmed that enquiries are “ongoing”.

Dog owners can prevent these incidents

Chief Inspector Mark Thorley of Staffordshire Moorlands neighbourhood policing team said: “No farmer likes the prospect of shooting a dog, let alone actually doing it, but it’s written into law that they can protect their livestock by shooting any dog which is worrying said livestock.”

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“There is only one person who can prevent this kind of incident from happening – the dog’s owner.”

“I’d like to remind and warn dog owners that they may pay the ultimate price if they do not keep their animals under control.”

“They should also consider that livestock can be worth huge sums of money, which they may be liable for if their pet goes on to injure or kill them.”

“You need not worry; however, as if you’re with your dog and you have it under proper control as the law states you should, there is no risk to the livestock or your dog.”

Responsible dog ownership

Earlier this month, Graeme Hall ‘The Dogfather’ and Warwickshire Rural Crime Team featured in a video to highlight the importance of responsible dog ownership.

In the clip, Hall said: “Sheep worrying has always been quite a big problem, and I think there is a real feeling that it is on the increase.”

“I think there is a bit of a problem with the term sheep worrying because we just think worrying, well that is not very much.”

“Alternatively, we say sheep attacks, and then, perhaps, I think people are inclined to think well, no, my little Fluffapoo could never possibly attack a sheep.”

“But it does not need for a dog to attack a sheep in order to kill them. They actually get stressed out. Their hearts give out even when a dog is just running after them, in the dog’s mind, to play.” Hall added.

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