Sheep killed at nature reserve near Egremont
Cumbria Wildlife Trust calls for members of the public to come forward with information about suspected dog attacks at Clints Quarry Nature Reserve.
Two sheep have been killed by a dog or dogs at Clints Quarry, one of Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves near Egremont. A local farmer who owns the sheep and grazes the quarry on behalf of the Trust has confirmed he believes they have been killed by dogs.
Staff at the local wildlife charity were informed on Wednesday 18 September by a member of the public about the death of two sheep. They were then informed that a further four dead sheep were found in the nature reserve on Wednesday 25 September and this report being investigated.
The Trust is asking for anyone who has further information to come forward and report this to the Police (call 101) or RSPCA (call 0300 1234 999) so that whoever is responsible can be identified.
Kevin Scott, Northern Reserves Officer for Cumbria Wildlife Trust, said: “Nature reserves are special places where life is allowed to thrive, and so to have several sheep killed there by dogs in the space of a week is extremely distressing, especially for the owner of the sheep. The owner of the dog(s) involved must have been aware of its actions. Our nature reserves are open to the public for people to enjoy wildlife close-up and we understand that some people may want to take their dogs too, but it is essential that people keep their dogs on leads to avoid the unnecessary death of livestock and so that wildlife remains undisturbed.”
Stephen Trotter, the Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “This is a very disturbing and shocking incident. Dog worrying is completely unacceptable – and owners of dogs are personally responsible for the behaviour of their animals. I feel deeply for the farmer for whom this must be a very difficult time. This is the first time we’ve had an incident of this nature and the Trust wants to do everything we can to ensure this does not happen again.”
Cumbria Wildlife Trust has 38 nature reserves which people can visit and at all locations it asks that people keep dogs on leads, and to pick up any mess, for the benefit of wildlife and grazing animals. On certain nature reserves or at particular times of the year, no dogs are permitted.