Ten sheep killed by dogs at York nature reserve

Charlie Forbes Adam (right) and shepherd John Atkinson with their flock of Hebridean sheep near York
Charlie Forbes Adam (right) and shepherd John Atkinson with their flock of Hebridean sheep near York
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A NORTH Yorkshire landowner has pleaded for dog walkers to show greater care around livestock after ten of his sheep were killed by dogs in just 12 months.

Charlie Forbes Adam, who owns Skipwith Common National Nature Reserve near York, said he was upset some dog owners did not understand the importance of keeping dogs on leads around animals despite constant attempts by landowners to explain why to the public.

He said: “Often the sheep aren’t killed outright, but just maimed. They suffer agonies until they are put out of their misery. I simply cannot understand why some dog owners ignore the signs to keep their dogs on leads and allow this to happen.”

Hundreds of Hebridean sheep graze on Skipwith Common where the habitats of ground-nesting birds have also been destroyed by roaming dogs, Mr Forbes Adam said.

“We have tried to prevent this by establishing a 10-acre fenced dog-run just outside the reserve where dogs can run around to their hearts’ content, but some dog walkers take no notice.”

Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, dog walkers must keep dogs on leads and under close control when on open access land such as Skipwith Common to prevent them attacking sheep, deer and disturbing birds’ habitat.