The National Farmers’ Union is teaming up with Sussex Police and the South Downs National Park authority to encourage responsible dog walking in the countryside.
They will be out talking to dog owners in Arundel and Worthing to encourage them to keep their pets on leads. It is one of number of awareness events being planned
The NFU says the number of dog attacks on farm animals remains ‘unacceptably high’ and attacks are seriously impacting farmers' livelihoods.
Spokesperson Romy Jackson says: "We want people to enjoy walking their dogs safely and will be asking walkers to #take the lead and put pets on a lead as farm animals could be nearby. Much of the downland in the South Downs National Park depends on a grazing regime, with sheep and cattle central to its management. But sadly, the number of dog attacks on farm animals remains unacceptably high and attacks are seriously impacting farmers' livelihoods.”
The NFU says it is seeing above average numbers of people with pets in the countryside as the pandemic continues. It follows a big rise in the number of people owning dogs since the first lockdown last year.
It also wants to raise awareness of new changes to the law that will give police greater powers to tackle out-of-control dogs.
The #TakeTheLead campaign includes the following key messages:
Keep your dog on the lead around wildlife and livestock.
Always bag and bin your dog's poo - any bin will do.
Stick to the path and keep your dog close, particularly during ground-nesting bird season (1 March - 15 September)
Stay out of MoD danger areas when the red flag is flying.