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The Mary Tavy Commoners’ Association has provided the following information:
Sheep are valuable assets and any harm to them harms a farmer’s livelihood. It is every dog’s instinct to chase, even if they are usually obedient and good with other animals.
Chasing by dogs can do serious damage to sheep, even if the dog doesn’t catch them. The stress of worrying by dogs can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs.
Sheep fleeing from dogs are often killed or seriously injured by their panicked attempts to escape, causing untold damage to fences and field boundaries in the process. Dogs chasing ewes and lambs can cause mis-mothering issues, with lambs dying from starvation or hypothermia when they become separated from their mother and fail to find her again.
Dog bites can cause death in sheep or necessitate them being put down at a later date, or in less severe cases considerable veterinary bills and additional welfare issues as a result of flies being attracted to the blood and leading to a nasty health problem in sheep called ‘fly strike’. Injuries to sheep can also delay the normal farming routine, be it the mating season or administration of vital medicines and vaccines.
It is an offence to allow a dog to worry sheep. Worrying includes attacking or chasing sheep and, in some circumstances, farmers are legally entitled to shoot dogs if they are endangering their sheep
It is vital that you keep your dog on the lead around livestock, even if you can usually trust it to come to call. If you live in or near a farming area, you must make sure that your dog cannot escape from your property, as it may find its way onto land containing sheep.
The Countryside and Right of Way Act (CROW Act) sets out public rights of access to open land and the restrictions to these rights. Although CROW allows anyone on to open access land (land you can access without having to use paths, including mountains, moorland, heaths, downs and registered common land) for recreation, the Act states that the public can only go on this land if they keep dogs on a fixed lead of 2 metres or less near livestock. The owner of open access land can close areas containing sheep to dogs for up to six weeks once a year, as a safeguard during lambing. Trained guide and hearing dogs are still allowed in these areas during this closure.
Dartmoor national Park Bylaw 9
(1) Every person in charge of a dog on the access land shall as far as is reasonably practicable keep the dog under close control and restrain the dog from behaviour giving reasonable grounds for annoyance
(2) Every person in charge of a dog on the access land shall, as far as is reasonably practicable, comply with a direction given by a Ranger or other officer of the Authority to keep the dog on a lead.
(3) A direction under paragraph 2 above may only be given if such restraint is reasonably necessary to prevent a nuisance or behaviour by the dog likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to any person on the access land or the worrying or disturbance of any animal or bird.
Keeping our roads clear of water
First published in February 2017
Walking around Brentor you may have noticed that many of our roadside ditches and watercourses have been cleared of debris that has been building up for some time.
Water can now drain off the roads more easily, avoiding the formation of puddles that can be a danger to traffic and pedestrians. This is thanks to the work of the local Parish lengthsman, whose recent work has been funded by a grant obtained by the Parish Council.
The County Council also employs their own lengthsmen who are scheduled to work for four days a year in Brentor. In addition if there is flooding or large puddles on a road the County Council will, 24 hours after the rain has stopped, take action if:
- the road is impassable
- the water is forcing vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians away from the nearside of the road by more than one metre
- vehicles have to cross the centreline marking
They undertake to attempt to clear the standing water if appropriate. If unable to clear the water, they will set up a flood sign, guard the area or close the road to make the location safe and then investigate a permanent solution.
To find out more click here to visit the County Council’s highways website.
Thanks should also go to the Parish Council which recently obtained a grant to rebuild the culvert in the centre of the village – the resulting work has made a huge improvement to the water flow and will help to reduce the amount of water that spills onto the road in very wet weather.
The parish lengthsman can only do a limited amount in the time he has, so it’s worth watching out for blocked gullies and drains and helping by keeping them clear of debris!
How to block telephone nuisance calls
First published in August 2017
If you get your telephone service from BT there is now a free service to block nuisance calls such as scam calls and unwanted sales advertising.
After you get such a call just dial 1572 and follow the instructions – this is a completely free service.
For more information click here to go to the BT website