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Aibu to think I should be ok to exercise my well behaved dog wherever I like in fields

(500 Posts)
Scrowy Fri 22-Sep-17 21:39:09

grin

I'm not BU because my dog is a farm dog and the fields are my fields.

Sadly however the local dog owners seem to think that our fields (some with footpaths, some without) are fair game and that they have an equal right to use them as they see fit.

This week we have politely asked 6 people with loose dogs to remove themselves from the pasture we have just separated some lambs into. There is no footpath in that field but it has a nice view. hmm

During lambing time this year we lost 4 lambs and 1 sheep to sheep worrying. About 5 years ago one dog killed 24 lambs in one go. Every week we are aware of minor incidents of sheep worrying, fortunatly most don't result in death but do always result in stress on the animals.

Also this week we have sent some older sheep to slaughter. Out of 30 of them 24 of them were condemned due to Echinococcosis, a disease passed on to sheep from dog poo and only identifiable at slaughter.

Neosporosis is another disease passed on from dog poo do cattle. It causes the cattle to abort their calves.

Letting your dogs poo on farmland is directly putting farms out of business.

Letting your dogs 'play' with sheep causes death, even if your dog doesn't actually maul something at the time.

You wouldn't walk into a shop, knock down a display and break stuff without expecting to have to pay for damages. Why do people think that the countryside is fair game?

I'm all for live and let live, I want people to enjoy the countryside and support it. I also want people to realise that it's not just there for their amusement, that some people are trying to make (an increasingly small and desperate) living from it.

waitingforlifetostart Fri 22-Sep-17 21:42:24

yanbu

Fluffysparks Fri 22-Sep-17 21:42:32

Oh that sounds awful angry Just litter the fences with no dog signs (all over) explaining the dangers etc and if it is possible maybe CCTV? Seems harsh I know but there have been an awful lot of instances. Is there any public access to your lands? If not it is trespassing

antimatter Fri 22-Sep-17 21:43:19

Have leaflet printed in your pocket with this kind of info? Hand it out to each of those walkers.

I wouldn't walk my dog in the fields because I grew in the country but can imagine that some people just don't have clue sad

Rollercoaster1920 Fri 22-Sep-17 21:44:09

As a farmer, are you allowed to shoot said dogs? Or children?

I remember a farmer washing a shotgun in my direction as an exploring child!

Not a serious post by the way, but having a fearsome reputation has benefits I guess.

Tainbri Fri 22-Sep-17 21:46:39

YANBU. Mostly it's ignorance but sometimes sadly it's arrogance.

RedGrapeCornSnake Fri 22-Sep-17 21:47:22

I was about to pile on you then for being selfish towards the field owners!
Can you legally shoot loose dogs on your land? Even if they aren't actually chasing and biting? Lots of signs with this fact up may help to concentrate people's minds.
We have sheep in a field opposite our house over the Autumn and winter until they have their lambs - it's lovely and I always call hello to them (like a toddler!)

DueNov Fri 22-Sep-17 21:49:18

Ynbu. Can you leave signs in your gate stating private land and what happened in regards to the dog poo? Maybe it would deter walkers x

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 22-Sep-17 21:51:31

YADNBU.
I would double check your rights on shooting the dogs. AFAIK "worrying" does not have to be actually attacking or chasing.

MehMehAndMeh Fri 22-Sep-17 21:51:39

Put up signs warning it's private land, you have sheep in the area and worrying dogs may be shot. That will sort all but the most determined numpty.

Scrowy Fri 22-Sep-17 21:56:02

Most of the land is common land (fell). We can ask, but we can't enforce.

We have one field and one wood where there are particular problems.

The wood is essentially private, but there is an ancient right of way runs right through the middle of it. Over recent years a few locals have 'rediscovered' the right of way and started using it, fine, that is their right, but very quickly people now see the whole wood as a dog walking area rather than merely having a straight line access through it.

And I think that's the problem, people these days just don't understand that the countryside is a working environment and not just put there for their personal amusement.

We have signs up, they get ignored or removed.

We lock gates where there is no public right of way and people cut the locks off shock.

I know people think that dog poo in the countryside just melts away but it is causing real commercial damage to farms.

themightybanhammer Fri 22-Sep-17 21:57:06

Shoot the dogs, as it would be illegal to shoot the owners and then retrain the dogs to be useful

Lots of signs up stating off lead dogs will be shot due to reasons given in your OP as will trespassing dogs in field without any rights of way due to issues with the sheep and hopefully the signs will work without you needing to shoot anything

Maybe also some alarm mines with 12g blanks in them rigged up to trip wires so any off lead dogs set them off and the owners hear the shot and get them on lead and fuck off quickly thinking its someone shooting a dog in another field along

SoPassRemarkable Fri 22-Sep-17 21:57:43

Yanbu, we have this problem.

Recently got a phone call saying someone was exercising a dog in one of our fields....no footpath. Friend had stopped and told him to bugger off and he was arguing with her. We were running out the house to go and confront him but as he saw us coming he decided to chuck the dog back in the car and drive off.

Friend said he'd been really rude....arguing about why shouldn't he let his dog in the field. He'd had to climb over a gate to get in. He said he always did it...., there's often dog shit in the field so I'm guessing he does. He was arguing that there wasn't a sign saying "private". Friend asked him if he had a sign on his garden fence saying "private".

Bloody muppet.

DueNov Fri 22-Sep-17 21:57:53

I feel so sorry for you op. It really sounds horrendous 😔 I can't ebeloebe they don't even pick it up!! Disgusting

SoPassRemarkable Fri 22-Sep-17 21:59:42

Landowners can't shoot dogs unless they're actually chasing livestock.

Sn0tnose Fri 22-Sep-17 22:01:39

Would it be worth contacting your local paper and seeing if they'd be willing to do a piece on it? I think that if people haven't grown up around farms, some of them can be incredibly dense and not realise that dogs and sheep are not a good combination.

missyB1 Fri 22-Sep-17 22:02:09

Sounds a bit confusing about which is your land and which is public land. I suspect people can't always tell.

Scrowy Fri 22-Sep-17 22:05:38

The laws around shooting dogs are increasingly dodgy. In today's culture you need to have absolute proof that harm was being caused when you shot them.

I know of people that have merely threatened to shoot dogs and have had their gun licenses removed as a result.

30 years ago if your dog got shot worrying sheep you accepted that as an owner you were responsible. These days dogs are 'part of the family' and people definitely do not accept that their dogs should always be under close control on farmland.

Goldmandra Fri 22-Sep-17 22:06:15

I walk our dogs on local farmland with permission from the family that farms it. They have beef cattle.

I usually stay away from public footpaths because our dogs can be nervous of other dogs and it's much more relaxing knowing you are unlikely to meet any.

However, now I know that their poo is likely to be harmful to the cattle, I will keep my dogs on a lead in those fields so I can reliably find their poo. I can be difficult when they're running around a huge field. I obviously haven't been letting them off the lead around the cattle.

Thank you for that information smile

Scrowy Fri 22-Sep-17 22:08:46

Sounds a bit confusing about which is your land and which is public land. I suspect people can't always tell.

If they can't tell the difference between common fell land (common farmland not 'public land')
and a fenced/walled/gated field then they definitely shouldn't be accessing farmland without refreshing their knowledge of the countryside code.

Ignorance is not a defence.

Mulch Fri 22-Sep-17 22:14:19

Could you take this to your local mp? Alot of people are probably in the same boat and general public are probably unaware of the damage they cause

Honu Fri 22-Sep-17 22:14:26

Also this week we have sent some older sheep to slaughter. Out of 30, 24 of them were condemned due to Echinococcosis, a disease passed on to sheep from dog poo and only identifiable at slaughter.

I didn't know this! The farm at the top of our lane has a footpath through it and they have recently given up cattle and are using it for sheep. My dog ignores the sheep but she does poo in the field. Off to google Echinococcosis with big guilt complex.

Eryri1981 Fri 22-Sep-17 22:18:16

It works both ways though.

Sheep get into my garden and trash plants and trees that I have purchased. At the same time they are exposed to dog poo that I don't instantly pick up in my own garden, so if they do get a disease no way of knowing whether it was picked up on the farm land or my land.

When my dog was a tiny puppy and not fully vaccinated some sheep escaped onto the road and into our garden leaving sheep poo which my puppy ate exposing him to the risk of a serious disease (can't recall which one it is, would need to goggle it.)

Found a tiny lamb (scabby cord still there) in the garden one morning and had to go out in dressing gown and wellies to catch it and reunite it with it's very distressed mother (luckily my dog didn't spot it first...he would have wanted to play with it).

Only two times I've witnessed the sheep being worried by dogs in the field behind my cottage was once when the farmers dog (Kelpie I think) escaped and had a sheep pinned into the a corner behind my garden wall, and once when my dog escaped and briefly chased a medium sized lamb. I'd be pretty pissed off if the farmer used a shot gun on my dog when his are just the same.

This is not unique to my garden or area, all the farmers seem to struggle to contain their animals. A friend hit one in his car, was injured and car a right off a few years back (on fairly main road through large village).

The responsibility works both ways!!

LadyInDread Fri 22-Sep-17 22:21:29

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Lurkedforever1 Fri 22-Sep-17 22:21:42

Yanbu.

Would it be practical to put something aggressive more dominant than sheep in the fields without rights of way? With a massive sign saying so? The type of idiot that trespasses and lets their dog worry livestock is usually too stupid to realise that most people wouldn't still have a few dog hating horses or stampeding cattle somewhere in the woods once the sheep are back.

Although tbf to the selfish fuckers they probably think that a few dead sheep is minor compared to the inconvenience of harvesting noise/ disruption spoiling their naice country life.

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