Notice to dog walkers from Cold Higham Parish Council
Dog walking is enjoyable for both dogs and their walkers and should be encouraged.
It is important for dog walkers to take responsibility for the behaviour of their dogs not only by cleaning up after them but also to keep them under control for the sake of other walkers, livestock, and wildlife.
Cold Higham Parish Council have received complaints from landowners that some dog walkers are failing to clean up after their dogs and in particular on rights-of-way just off Banbury Lane and in the open countryside. Some dog walkers are also lifting fences to allow their dogs through. Doing this regularly reduces the effectiveness of the fence allowing lambs through for example.
Young lambs in a field
Failing to clean up after your dog is not only irresponsible but can also be dangerous to livestock and small children.
The following parasites can be present in dog faeces;
Toxocariasis which can cause blindness in young children.
Neosporosis can cause abortions and stillbirth in cattle. It is also dangerous to dogs causing illness in adult dogs and death to puppies. No treatment is available and faeces can remain infectious for up to 6 months.
Sarcocystosis causes neurological disease and death in sheep.
Due to the length of time that the faeces may be infected, picking up after your dog is also important in fields where livestock may not be present as any forage made into hay containing faeces could affect livestock to which it is fed.
Dog walkers should take care when crossing fields containing livestock. Dogs should be kept under close control preferably on a short lead. Cattle can be inquisitive and may come close to investigate. If you feel threatened walk calmly to the field boundary and let your dog go to allow it to run to safety.
It is also important to note that walkers and their dogs are only permitted on the path of the right-of way, there is no right to venture off the path. It is particularly important at that time of year in areas where there may be lambs and or nesting birds around.
For further guidance go to www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code.