Posted: Thu 7th Sep 2023

Irresponsible dog owners slammed as Denbighshire politicians look to protect livestock

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Sep 7th, 2023

Irresponsible owners are to blame for farmers shooting dogs, a Denbighshire councillor has said after a motion was passed aimed at protecting livestock.

Cllr Huw Williams, a farmer, proposed that Denbighshire bring in legislation ensuring all dogs are kept on leads on council-owned grazing land, apart from sheepdogs.

The motion was backed, and a full report will likely follow to be considered at a future council meeting.

Cllr Gwyneth Ellis said she didn’t want to delay the matter but the council should consider extending legislation to cover all council-owned land.

The motion follows a dog owner appearing in court this week after a farmer shot dead two escaped dogs who savaged a flock of pregnant sheep near Wrexham.

Introducing the motion, Cllr Huw Williams said Denbighshire Council needed to set an example.

Cllr Hugh Irving said: “I absolutely support this as a member of the hill-walking community. I spent a lot of time in the Clwydians, and as recently as last Sunday, I saw an example of exactly what councillors are referring to, on the Llyn Peninsula, near Aberdaron.

“It is appalling irresponsibility on behalf of dog owners, and the sooner we get some signs up on our own area of outstanding natural beauty that dogs must be kept on the lead. It can’t come quickly enough.”

Cllr Merfyn Parry said: “I work in the agricultural trade, but I also walk the Clwydian Range quite often.

“If I’m up there walking and I see dogs off leads where there are sheep about, I will tell the people (ask) ‘can you just put your dog on the lead please?’.

“It is surprising how aggressive some people can be personally towards you for asking them to do that, so you put yourself at a risk really.

“There were two dogs shot this week somewhere because they’d attacked 14 sheep. That’s an issue, because if the dog attacks your sheep on your own land, you have the right to go and shoot it.

“But if you are a mountain grazer, you haven’t got the right to shoot the dog attacking your sheep on common land.”

He added: “It’s not the dog’s fault. We all know that. It is the people who own the dog that should have the responsibility. The dog is just the victim.

“It happens to a lot of farmers, and I think we should support it and take it further.”

By Richard Evans – Local Democracy Reporter

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