I was very sad to learn that local farmer Tim Jury had suffered yet another dog attack on his flock of sheep.
As a first hand witness to the aftermath of the horrific attack that occurred in February I am well aware of the great distress this causes to the sheep, and the farmers as well as the very considerable time spent by the farmers, veterinary surgeons and police in dealing with these attacks. I also had the unenviable task of explaining to my young children that such horrific and upsetting events were caused by people who really do not take responsibility for their dogs and are consequently poor owners.
In both these cases the dogs involved had previous “form” for killing sheep and the owners had refused to take responsibility for that. A dog that has tasted blood in these circumstances cannot be rehabilitated and will do its utmost to do so again at the first opportunity. The only answer is to destroy the dog and a farmer is well within their rights to shoot a dog on their land when it is found to be worrying sheep. Financial recompense does not cover the significant distress caused to farmers and it certainly does not help traumatised sheep.
This year seems to have been blighted with problem dogs as a result of irresponsible dog owners. I have had friends locally who have been injured because dogs have just come up to them whilst walking and bit them, had their dogs attacked and one friend fell off a horse which was attacked by a dog.
As a dog owner myself it would seem the only answer to this situation would to be bring back dog licensing. Forcing breeders to have their puppies microchipped may regulate breeding of dogs but as we all know these puppies will be sold on and there will be no obligation for this registration to be passed on to the new owner. Compulsory and enforced licensing is the only way to keep our livestock, children, ourselves and our dogs safe from these irresponsible owners who most certainly cannot call themselves dog lovers.
Peter James Lane,