Threat to shoot our dogs is offensive
PUBLISHED: 18:55 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 11 May 2010
AS a 365-day-a-year dog walker I would like to air my views on the sheep grazing on Therfield Heath. I read a couple of weeks ago that the sheep would be coming back from June to December. I consider myself, along with a good proportion of the regular h
AS a 365-day-a-year dog walker I would like to air my views on the sheep grazing on Therfield Heath.
I read a couple of weeks ago that the sheep would be coming back from June to December.
I consider myself, along with a good proportion of the regular heath dog walkers, to be animal- lovers, and considerate human beings, most of whom will do their best to avoid the sheep, and would never allow their dogs to worry them.
So you may understand why we might be offended by the threat to shoot our dogs.
Over the years, on a number of occasions I have seen sheep loose on the golf course, where the battery to the electric fence has run flat, or the fence has been knocked down, and the sheep step out through or over the wire.
I have seen warnings that the sheep are grazing, but never a telephone contact number for emergencies.
I know that the heath is a public place, and that the farmer has rights to graze his livestock there, but, as I understand it, he is being paid to graze the sheep to encourage natural vegetation.
So let's have a bit of shared responsibility. The fences are very flimsy and the grazing is not good, so the sheep are always looking for a tastier snack (the grass is always greener on the other side).
Some informative notices, such as what to do if the sheep are out, would be useful.
We can keep away from the sheep if we know where they are, but if we come across them in the middle of the fairway, it becomes slightly more difficult.
While we are talking about electric fences, I must refer to a story that I read last year.
A grandmother complained that her grandson got a shock off the electric fence when he lifted it to let a dog out.
Why was the dog inside the sheep enclosure? Why did the lady allow the child and the dog, both in her care, near the fence? Was the error of her ways pointed out to her?