Woman given criminal behaviour order for sheep worrying

A Dorset woman has been given a criminal behaviour order (CBO) by magistrates after her loose German shepherd dog ran away and attacked a sheep flock.

Wendy Knight, 52, from Sheasby Close, in Sixpenny Handley, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog which worried livestock, namely sheep, in Knighton Lane, Wimborne on 12 March last year. 

Poole Magistrates’ Court heard how Ms Knight had been walking her dog – a German Shepherd – off its lead in a small paddock next to Canford Magna Garden.

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It ran off and was seen by witnesses attacking and frightening a flock of around 200 sheep in fields formerly used by the golf club. Some of the ewes were either in-lamb or had just given birth to lambs.

Two sheep suffered severe bite marks and two ewes later aborted their lambs after being worried by the dog.

Magistrates fined Ms Knight £300 for the offence. She was also made the subject of a two-year CBO, which states she must not:

  • walk or be in charge of any more than two dogs in any public area or place
  • walk or be in charge of any dog in a public area to which the public has access without the dog wearing a robust and correctly fitted collar and be on a robust and well-fitted lead at all times
  • walk or be in charge of any dog in a public area without the dog wearing a correctly fitted muzzle
  • walk or be in charge of any dog on any land that has livestock on it.

Police constable Claire Dinsdale of Dorset Police’s rural crime team said this case is a clear example of why all dog owners must ensure their pets are on a lead at all times near livestock.

“It is both distressing for the animals concerned and for the farmers who are tending to them,” added PC Dinsdale.

Dorset Police urged farmers to report every livestock-worrying incident by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.

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