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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Michael Kenwood

Northern Ireland Water instructing 'dogs on leads' at all its beauty spots following sheep death

NI Water is appealing to the public to take care of their dog and ensure they are on a lead when visiting any of its popular visitor spots.

Many of Northern Ireland's most beautiful sites from parts of the Mourne Mountains to the Garron Plateau, are owned by the public utility company and often used by local farmers to graze livestock.

Rebecca Allen, NI Water catchment officer said: "NI Water is proud to host visitors to many of these sites. However, visitors are reminded that the policy across all NI Water sites is to keep dogs on leads at all times - this is to ensure the safety of both your pets and local wildlife.

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“Often the presence of a dog is enough to spook a sheep and cause it to harm itself in an attempt to get to safety. If a dog is found to be worrying sheep, its owners may face a fine of up to £1,000 if found guilty of the offence.

“Dogs can also worry cattle and unknowingly carry bacteria into the area, which affects cattle health. We ask that all visitors to NI Water lands follow the Countryside Code for Northern Ireland and keep dogs on leads at all times and bag and bin all dog waste.

"Unfortunately, in the past week there has been a tragic incident of a sheep dying as a result of a dog attack on our land, and this is just sad and unacceptable.

“Our countryside areas also provide important habitat for a diverse range of wildlife including rare breeding birds. Keeping your dog on a lead keeps our wildlife safe and your dog safe and happy too.”

For a list of dog parks suitable for off lead exercise, visit here


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