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News  » "Sheep safety a growing concern on Wildlife Trust Reserves - the Ketton Quarry Nature Reserve"

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Sheep safety a growing concern on Wildlife Trust Reserves - the Ketton Quarry Nature Reserve   ()

NEWS RELEASEFor immediate releaseSheep safety a growing concern on Wildlife Trust ReservesFollowing a second dog attack on Wildlife Trust owned sheep this year, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust (LRWT) is asking visitors bringing dogs onto LRWT Reserves and into the wider countryside to please ensure they are kept under effective control at all times and to follow any signage present. The latest incident happened during the weekend of the 6th & 7th of September when one of the Trust’s Manx Loaghtan sheep currently grazing the Ketton Quarry Nature Reserve was discovered with a number of dog bites on the Sunday afternoon. Earlier in the year a similar incident occurred on a Trust land holding in Ketton Village just down the road from the latest attack where another of the Trust’s flock was found dead with a number of dog bites present on the carcass.John Bristow, Conservation Officer said ‘It is extremely rare for us to have to deal with such incidents but to have two attacks in a relatively short space of time is worrying, particularly when the latest incident occurred in a gated and fenced area of the nature reserve where signage clearly asks visitors not to bring dogs into. Although we do not rely upon our sheep as a means of income, they are an important land management tool and loss through incidents such as this does have an economic impact in terms of staff time, the cost of treatment and replacement costs if necessary. As a charity, every penny is important to the LRWT and any unforeseen but seemingly avoidable costs does reduce what we have to carry out our core work. The emotional impact of such incidents should also not be underestimated as you cannot account for the distress caused to those discovering a severely injured or dead animal. In this particular case, the Conservation Officer responsible for the flock was clearly shaken by what she discovered when making a routine welfare check and was surprised the sheep was still alive given the severity of the injuries.’A week on from the incident, the LRWT is pleased to report that the injured sheep is on the mend following a course of treatment and it is hoped to introduce it back to the flock soon. However it would appear that what was a relatively rare occurrence has recently become more commonplace within the wider farming community as highlighted by the Farmers Guardian newspaper and their campaign to raise awareness of livestock ‘worrying’ and how these incidents can be avoided.The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust will be continuing to graze areas of Ketton Quarry Nature Reserve over the next couple of months and although we cannot be on site every day, staff routinely carry out welfare checks throughout the week. However, the Trust is calling for all those visiting our reserve at Ketton Quarry to get in touch as soon as possible on 0116 2629968 if you suspect one of our sheep is injured or wish to report a similar incident as time is an important factor to successful treatment and recovery. ENDSContact: John Bristow 0116 2487365. NOTES TO THE EDITOR1. The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust works to protect and enhance Leicestershire and Rutland’s wildlife and wild places. 2. The Trust is the largest non-governmental organisation dedicated to the conservation of wildlife in the two counties. It is one of 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK forming the Wildlife Trust partnership, the UK’s leading conservation charity.3. The Trust has more than 15,800 members, manages 32 nature reserves covering more than 1,195 ha, and provides advice to other landowners on conservation issues. Helping people to enjoy and have access to wildlife is increasingly part of the Trust’s work. 4. For further information see www.lrwt.org.uk