He recommends that dogs not be taken into fields containing lambs and sheep even when they are on a lead.
The season started in early spring and is now in peak momentum, which means that the fields are beginning to fill with thousands of newly born lambs.
It’s one of the busiest times of the year for Hawick’s veterinary practice, in Earl Street, which works with farm clients from across the region, some of which have thousands of ewes in their herd.
Unfortunately, the season comes with risks associated with the welfare of the animals, with cases of sheep having miscarriages after being frightened by dogs, or attacked, maimed or killed.
Andrew Robinson, clinical director at Hawick Veterinary Practice, urges dog owners not to enter fields with ewes and lambs even if they are in leads.
He said: “Ideally, we recommend that you do not walk your pet in fields with sheep in them, because even the most docile and well-behaved dogs can become excitable around livestock.
“If a dog is lost, he may not respond to calls to return to his owner, which increases the likelihood of him becoming anxious or attacking sheep, so please avoid this during pregnancy season. It is also about looking after your pet’s well-being.”
Guidance is available to farmers who may encounter problems during the lambing season, such as unexplained mortality among their flocks.
Anyone needing advice should contact the Hawick Veterinary Clinic by calling 01450 372038 or by visiting www.hawickvets.co.uk.
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