Make sure you take the lead this Christmas

The Christmas holidays and new year are some of the busiest days on the Malvern Hills and Commons. If you're visiting this festive season with your four-legged friend, please remember to take the lead.

Sheep and cattle graze the Malvern Hills and Commons all year round and you should expect to come across livestock on your Christmas walk or cycle.  

Please put your dog on a lead when you are within the livestock compartments and walking near livestock.  If you cannot be certain that your dog will return to you immediately when called (whatever the circumstances) then please keep you pet on a lead at all times.

Sadly we have seen a number of sheep killed in recent months and police are actively investigating two of these incidents.  

Beck Baker, Community and Conservation Officer said "These recent livestock worrying incidents have been extremely distressing for everyone involved.  The graziers have had to collect their animals that have been severely injured and killed by someone's dog.  The dog owner could face a fine or prosecution which no one wants to have to deal with at anytime, let alone during Christmas. In severe cases, the dog could also be destroyed."

"If people simply kept their dogs on a lead, this would put an end livestock worrying incidents.  Let's make sure cattle and sheep have a happy and peaceful Christmas too."

The locations of livestock on the Hills and Commons are published in weekly Stockwatch updates.  These are also available to view on the Trust's Facebook and Twitter pages and in the Malvern Gazette.