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Dog owners blamed over savagings

PUBLISHED: 00:50 16 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 March 2010

IRRESPONSIBLE dog owners were blamed today after pets were let loose off their leads to savage geese and chickens and attack other animals at a farm.

Farmer's wife Jo Fox said she now felt like she was "living in a prison" because the family had had to put wire mesh fencing up all around their garden to stop dogs from getting in and harming the livestock.

IRRESPONSIBLE dog owners were blamed today after pets were let loose off their leads to savage geese and chickens and attack other animals at a farm.

Farmer's wife Jo Fox said she now felt like she was "living in a prison" because the family had had to put wire mesh fencing up all around their garden to stop dogs from getting in and harming the livestock.

In a series of incidents, dogs have run into the garden of Searson's Farm, Cordys Lane, Trimley St Mary, next to the pond.

All the geese have been killed and a number of chickens, and ducks and a miniature pony have also been attacked – as was Mrs Fox as she tried to intervene in one incident when a dog ran amok, but she was not injured.

She has the right to shoot any dog which attacks livestock under ancient laws but said she could not bring herself to do that.

"Over the last few months these incidents have become very, very frequent. Only last week a springer spaniel came into the garden and chased my peacock and jumped into the pond and chased the ducks," said Mrs Fox.

"I spoke to one dog owner and he said, 'Where am I supposed to train my dog?' I told him not in my garden.

"We have lots of people come down here to feed the ducks, look at the goats and chickens – lots of mums with toddlers – and it's lovely.

"But I just want people to keep their dogs on leads until they get past the farm."

She could accept an occasional incident where a dog ran into the garden by mistake and chased or killed a bird and usually owners on these occasions were very apologetic and upset.

But more and more people seemed to just be letting their dogs off the lead without a thought for other animals and the countryside.

Trimley beat officer Pc Dave Gledhill said people were pulling up in cars, pushing their dogs out to foul instead of walking them, and just sitting in their vehicles until they returned.

"It's not just the dog fouling, but we have dogs off their leads and out of control getting into the farmyard and injuring livestock and that is totally unacceptable," he said.

"It is irresponsible dog ownership in an area where people should be giving extra attention to what their dog is doing.

"We have not caught anyone yet but we will and there are a number of offences we will then be speaking to them about."

Trimley Parish Council has agreed that notices warning that dogs should be kept on leads should be put up at the parking area near the farm, and that Suffolk Coastal council should be asked if its staff can also look at the problem.

n What do you think? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk


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