1. ITV Report

Owners urged to keep dogs under control after sea bird killed

Two black-headed gulls which receive threat from dog attacks Credit: Mick Dryden

Dog owners in Jersey are being asked to keep their dogs under control after a dog killed a sea bird while it was off the lead last month.

Experts say more needs to be done to protect migratory birds in Jersey as their numbers are in decline.

If you own or are walking a dog, you should:

  • give birds that are feeding or resting plenty of space
  • control your animal so that it does not disturb or scare wild birds
  • keep all dogs under control even when off the lead
  • never allow or encourage dogs to chase birds
  • keep noise levels low around sea birds

It is really important to ensure that shore birds are left undisturbed whilst they feed.

People and their dogs can be very disturbing to birds, the occasional person or dog putting the birds to flight will not cause any long-term harm, what we as responsible dog owners may fail to recognise is that once we have left the beach and returned home, other dog walkers will come along, and this can cause continual, daily disturbance to the birds, potentially leading to starvation and death.

It is important that we protect them as they feed in their natural habitat.

– Principal Ecologist and Assistant Director Natural Environment, John Pinel
Two Pale Bellied Brent Geese Credit: Mick Dryden

Some of the more vulnerable birds to dog attacks include Brent Geese which breed in Arctic Canada and migrate to Jersey, black-headed gulls, sandlings and the redshank.

Dog walkers are being reminded of their responsibilities between 1 October and 30 April when dogs are legally allowed to be off the lead on beaches.