Cornish Mutual Member sat on Land Rover holding Dogs on Lead sign

Livestock worrying during the pandemic

With the rise of ‘pandemic puppies’ and increasing numbers of people using the countryside, farmers have seen a surge in livestock worrying, litter and damage.

In its on-going support for the farming community, Cornish Mutual has supplied Members with warning signs reminding owners to keep dogs on leads near livestock.

Dorset-based Cornish Mutual Member, Richard Cuzens, explains the problems he’s faced. “We have seen lots more people on our land during the pandemic, with many not sticking to footpaths and damaging the grass used to feed our animals. As livestock farmers, grass is our ‘crop’, so any damage impacts animal welfare and our business.

“We welcome the support from Cornish Mutual. Since using the warning signs they provided, we haven’t had any more serious incidents of livestock worrying. Sadly, we now face other concerns.

“There has been a big increase in litter, including tennis balls and dog mess, both of which are a danger to our animals. We nearly lost a cow choking on a tennis ball last year, and nearing spring turnout it’s a growing worry again.

“Lambing is fast approaching and due to the weather, our ewes will be in fields with footpaths. We are considering putting up fences to mark paths clearly; it will be costly but we’re not sure what else to do.”

Cornish Mutual’s Arthur Denton reinforces their commitment to farmers. “Walkers breaching the Countryside Code is a recurring and frustrating issue for farmers. We will continue to provide support while raising awareness about enjoying the countryside responsibly.”

To request a dog lead warning sign, call us: 01872 277151.