keep pets cool in summer

Countryside code dogs

When you’re out and about with your dog, it’s important that you’re aware of the Countryside Code. Being aware of this code can help to keep your dog safe, protect the environment and show that you are a responsible dog owner. Last month in Dorset a dog attacked and killed 45 sheep, and sadly as shocking as that is, it is far from the worst reported case. In our more local area of Tynedale, farmers report 4 to 5 fatalities per year with 25 injuries reported last year. It is important that the countryside code is highlighted, especially this time of year, but it does apply all year round.

What is the countryside code in England?

  • You control your dog so that it doesn’t scare or disturb farm animals or wildlife
  • When using the new access rights over open country and common land, you must keep your dog on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July – and all year round near farm animals. You may not be able to take your dog at all in some areas or at some times. Please follow any official signs
  • In general you don’t have to put your dog on a lead on public paths, as long as they are under close control. Though please be aware of any local laws that may be in place.
  • As a general rule, keep your dog on a lead if you cannot rely on their obedience. By law, farmers are entitled to destroy a dog that injures or worries their animals
  • If a farm animal chases you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead – don’t risk getting hurt by trying to protect them. Please see our guides on keeping safe around horses and livestock
  • Take particular care that your dog doesn’t scare sheep and lambs, or wander where it might disturb birds that nest on the ground and other wildlife
  • Across the UK, 7 in 10 livestock attacks are caused by unaccompanied dogs, e.g. dogs that have escaped your garden. Make sure your garden is escape-proof
  • Always pick up dog poo in the countryside and place the waste in a bin. Livestock can become ill from certain parasites or diseases caught from dog poo but they can also eat through poo bags and this can cause life threatening complications.

Please help farmers in your community by following the countryside code for dog owners.