Sheep rescued from lake after Panshanger dog attack
PUBLISHED: 16:51 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:51 14 March 2017
No sooner had sheep returned to graze Panshanger Park on the outskirts of Welwyn Garden City, than a dog chased a pregnant ewe into a lake.
On Monday, the day after sheep returned from winter quarters to graze grassland, a ewe had to be rescued from the Lower Broadwater, thanks to an out-of-control dog.
Jennifer Gilbert, the park’s people and wildlife officer, said: “The ewe will have been extremely distressed and came out the Broadwater very muddy.
“Our grazing sheep are all are pregnant ewes and stress can cause them to abort their lambs.
“To have another dog incident just hours after the sheep were returned to the park is very upsetting and we are taking it extremely seriously.” Quarrying company Tarmac, which owns the park, has pleaded for dog-owners to use leads, stressing the conservation value of sheep, which help small wildflowers by eating faster-growing plants.
An attack in September led to a police caution and a £500 compensation bill for the owner.
Michael Charlton, Tarmac’s restoration manager, said: “We will be putting signs up around the park to let visitors know when and where sheep are grazing, and we urge dog’s owners to take notice of these and keep their dogs on leads in these areas.
“In some circumstances we may need to close off some fields temporarily too.
“We desperately want to avoid any further attacks and so we hope dog-owners will help us keep the livestock safe.
“Attacks can sadly sometimes lead to sheep having to be destroyed. We want everybody to be able to enjoy Panshanger Park and there will be consequences for those that endanger the safety of our animals.”
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