DOG owners are being urged to stop, look and listen for livestock and ground nesting birds whilst walking their pets in the countryside.
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority welcomes responsible dog walkers and is supporting farmers by raising awareness of sheep worrying and the harm it can cause to ewes and their lambs.
Sheep worrying can have a significant impact on livestock and a farmer’s livelihood and the Authority is urging dog walkers to do their bit by making sure their pets are kept on short leads, from 1st March to 31st July.
BBNPA Chair Ed Evans said dog owners who keep their pets on leads support the many farmers in the National Park who welcome those who want to enjoy the countryside.
He said: “It is so important that sheep are not stressed or hurt by dogs – livelihoods are at stake and police and farmers are warning that dogs found worrying and attacking sheep can be shot.
“Nobody wants to see a family pet being hurt. If dog owners stop, look and listen out for livestock and ground-nesting birds when they are enjoying the countryside they will play a small and simple part in protecting animals and wildlife.”
The Authority is also asking dog owners to keep gardens safe and secure to prevent dogs from escaping and roaming in the countryside.
Authority Delivery Director Steve Gray said it’s in a dog’s nature to run and chase but we want to raise awareness of the harm a playful pet can unintentionally cause.
“Yes, we are a nation of dog lovers and we want people to be able to enjoy the landscape with their pets,” he said. “What we are asking dog owners to remember is that the Brecon Beacons National Park is a living, breathing and working landscape. The landscape supports the livelihoods of our farmers and provides the breeding conditions for an array of ground-nesting birds. With Spring approaching it is even more important that you keep full control of your pets in the countryside.”