THE NFU is reminding dog walkers to be vigilant and responsible when out in the countryside.

The organisation is setting out simple dos and don’ts for members of the public as part of its Love your Countryside campaign, in the wake of several fatalities involving walkers being trampled by cows, while incidents of sheep worrying are on the rise.

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said: “When walking with dogs in fields with livestock, the advice is to keep your dog close and under effective control on a lead and not to hang onto your dog if you feel threatened – let it go as the animals will chase the dog, allowing you to stay out of harm’s way. Dogs usually run faster than livestock and this allows the dog to get to safety.”

“Remember that our animals are our livelihood and we can’t risk having them distressed, hurt or killed by dogs with irresponsible owners.”

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