FOREST OF Dean Council in Glous is considering using Anti-Social Behaviour Orders against the owners of free-roaming sheep.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the threat is the latest attempt to solve a long-running dispute between commoners – know as “badgers” – and residents of the forest.

Householders in the area have long complained that the sheep leave droppings on the footpaths, cause accidents and wreck their gardens.

But it is claimed that in recent months angry commoners have attacked a number of home owners and their property because of the complaints.

Amir Razvi, the council‘s head of technical services, said: “It seems that when some commoners discover that a family has complained about the behaviour of their sheep, they are intimidated.”

Mick Holder, secretary of the Commoners Association, told the paper that the problem seemed to concern one or more badgers who were not members of his organisation.

“We have very strong rules governing behaviour and anyone who breaks them will be expelled. But we can do no more.

“I welcome the Asbos in cases where it can be proved that someone is causing trouble or behaving badly.”

Commoners have had the right to let their sheep roam the forest since Norman times.