Image demonstrating Owners urged to keep dogs on leads around wildlife

Owners urged to keep dogs on leads around wildlife

Dog owners are being urged to keep a look out for wildlife when walking their pets and place them on a lead or recall them if they encounter it.

The advice comes following an incident in Holywell Dene,  Seaton Sluice where a dog recently killed a young female swan.

Since this incident, Northumberland County Council’s Public Protection Service has received an increase in the number of calls from concerned residents who have witnessed  dogs chasing ducks, ducklings and swans.

There have also been reports in rural Northumberland of dogs worrying or mauling sheep, including a recent incident in the Ingram Valley.

Northumberland County Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet member with responsibility for environment and local services said:
“ Your dog may be a loving, friendly pet, but if they are off the lead, they may think it is a fun game to run around with these animals.

"Unfortunately, it is not a game and these animals  often get scared, injured or killed as a result.  Wildlife may also approach humans looking for food and a dog could see this as a threat. 

“We are grateful to the majority of responsible dog walkers in our communities, that love to watch the local wildlife. Our green spaces are places for everyone,  We  want to urge all owners to please think of others and to keep your dog close by and under control. If it doesn’t have a good recall, then keep it on a lead. This way we can ensure that every person and animal is kept safe.”

It is an offence to allow your pet to worry, kill or maul sheep and their lambs, and owners should keep their dogs on a lead at all times when around them.

Nesting birds can also be found in ponds, streams, rivers and rock pools, and they should not be disturbed during this important time of the year for their nests and eggs.

Swans are particularly defensive of their young, and under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, all birds, their nests and eggs are protected by
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