'Traumatic' incidents of livestock worrying
DOGS chasing cows and worrying sheep has become a concerning trend across Teesdale as more people take their pets for walks during the coronavirus lockdown.
Incidents have been reported on Cockfield Fell and in Barnard Castle in the past week.
Joanne Bainbridge, secretary of Cockfield Fell Reeves, said a lamb suffered bites to its face and puncture wounds on three of its legs in the latest incident.
This is despite signs being erected asking owners to keep their dogs under control at all times.
She added: “This lamb is now unable to suck its mother due to its face swollen with infection from the dog bite – there is also infection in the other wounds in its legs as well. [This caused] immense distress to both the lamb and its mother.
“There are more people walking their dogs on the fell this year and we ask them to respect our livestock which have been on the fell for years. People need to be aware of the actions of their dogs when in proximity of sheep and lambs as some dogs treat small lambs as toys and can get quite excited, even resulting in trying to capture and bite them. This causes traumatic wounds.”
In Barnard Castle, dairy farmer Rob Wilkinson reported that some of his livestock had been chased by dogs on the field below Barnard Castle rugby pitches on The Demesnes.
He added: “These cows are all due to calf very soon and sadly this has happened in previous years and several calves were born dead as a result.”
The reeves asked people to report any incidents they see on Cockfield Fell to police on 101.