We all want what’s best for man’s best friend. The good news is that in protecting them in the outdoors, we can also protect our livestock.
It’s an obvious one to most – when you picture having a dog there are a list of accessories that go hand in hand with ownership, including a collar and lead, some balls to throw and poo bags. The choice to keep a dog off the lead has led to livestock being injured or in very serious cases, killed.
Even if you have the best behaved of good dogs and you think nothing would ever tempt it to stray near livestock, animals can be unpredictable and some aren’t as under control as you might think. It’s important to remember that it isn’t their fault if they’ve been put in an unfamiliar situation with strange animals. It is our responsibility to protect them. That’s why it’s important to keep all dogs on the lead when outdoors and that way our furry friends can continue to enjoy the outdoors with us.
Leave the animal herding to the hard working professional sheep dogs out there!
If you’re enjoying the outdoors and are near livestock, gates are very important. You might think that closing an open gate is doing a farmer a favour but you might be putting yourself or others in more danger. Closed gates will keep animals where they’re supposed to be and open gates allow easy access for farmers to get through the land quickly. If you have to open a gate, close it again.
Livestock can be unpredictable, you never know if you’ll be walking past/through a field of cool, calm and collected cows or bossy bulls that decide they want everyone out of their space. So it’s best to pass carefully and quietly so as not to disturb or upset them in a way that might be provocative. Be mindful not to raise your voice or scare them. Remember this land is their home and you are simply passing by.
It is impossible to predict what an animal is going to do so it’s important to keep your eye on them and never turn your back on them. Even if it means walking backwards for a short time, it’s worth it for everyone’s safety.
We know you’ve heard this before but it’s so important, not only for humans so that we can all enjoy a day out without the fear of stepping in poo but it can be dangerous to livestock too. It doesn’t decay as quickly as you might think and can harvest serious bacteria. Always carry a bag, pick it up, and take it home with you if a bin isn’t available or is too full.
For more #RightSideofOutside content, see OutmoreNI.com
Subscribe and be the first to hear about new outdoor trails and places or find inspiration to help you plan days out.