Dog Walking in and around Bulkington
Did you know that there are estimated to be over 70 dogs in Bulkington!
We are lucky to have many rights of way to enjoy with our dogs, but don’t forget that these paths cross farmland and what looks like an inviting field of grass to let our dogs run, is often next years’ food for livestock, or home to nesting birds.
The Rambler’s give advice about walking with our dogs:
Keep to the Path - dogs have been taken on highways since time immemorial, so it’s generally assumed that they can be considered a ‘natural accompaniment’ (a term used in a 19th century court case to describe things which might normally be taken by a walker) and that therefore dogs can be taken on public rights of way.
There’s no law which says that a dog must be kept on a lead when using a public right of way, but local authorities can make orders under section 27 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 to make it a requirement on specific paths. Like its owner, a dog should remain on the line of the path – an act of trespass may be committed against the landowner if it wanders away from the official route.
Caution with grazing animals:
Walkers with dogs should take particular care when crossing fields where animals are being grazed. Section 1 of the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 makes it an offence for a dog to be at large, ‘that is to say not on a lead or otherwise under close control’, in a field or enclosure containing sheep.
It’s also an offence for dogs to attack or chase livestock and farmers are allowed to shoot dogs that are worrying, or are about to worry, farm animals. This is set out in section 9 of the Animals Act 1971, which also states that the farmer isn’t liable to compensate the dog’s owner in such circumstances.
Despite the fact that a dog is a ‘natural accompaniment’ to users of rights of way, the law doesn’t require stiles to be ‘dog friendly’ as it’s the dog’s keeper who has the right of passage, not the dog.
Pick Up The Poo:
As a responsible dog owner, please clear up dog mess – it’s unpleasant to step in, it contaminates livestock foodstuff, can cause infections in people and other animals and can affect the soil that plants need to survive.
Whilst dog owners are increasingly hearing this message and picking up after their dog, there seems to be a trend towards leaving bags of dog waste beside the path or hanging on fences/trees etc. This is wholly unacceptable and illegal. Please make sure that you either bin your dog bags or take them home with you.
Remember, there is no such thing as the dog poo fairy and any bin will do!