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Haworth woman issues warning to others after dogs are shot
9:29pm Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
A Haworth woman whose dogs were shot dead by a farmer has urged people to be more careful when taking their pets for walks in rural areas.
Zoe Kerr, 36, says although she believes the farmer, Simon Tidswell, was wrong to shoot her pets, she recognises the problem farmers face when their flocks are harassed by dogs.
On Mothers’ Day Miss Kerr’s pets, Frank and Macy, escaped from her car while on Oxenhope Moor. After a lengthy search she was told the dogs were with Mr Tidswell at his farm, Sandbeds, off Trough Lane.
They were later found dead and Mr Tidswell was arrested. He has since admitted shooting them in the head with a bolt gun after inspecting his land and finding dead lambs. He is currently on police bail.
Despite her ordeal, Miss Kerr says letting the dogs escape was her fault and she wants to make other dog owners aware of the problems pets can cause, especially during the lambing season.
Farmers have the legal right to shoot dogs if they catch them in the act of worrying or attacking their sheep, but have to inform the police within 48 hours. Owners can be fined for losing control of their dogs.
Miss Kerr said: “Dog owners should be aware that at this time of year sheep are vulnerable and it takes very little for lambs to get worried or distressed. A lot of dog owners won’t realise that if a dog gets loose among sheep, a farmer could lose up to ten lambs. People might let their dogs off the lead because they do it in the park, but they are an animal and their instincts will kick in. Farmers are just protecting their livelihood.
“Once I get justice I will be starting up a campaign to highlight the plight of farmers and how, as dog owners, we should be more aware of their rights.”