Woman given criminal behaviour order following sheep worrying incident near Wimborne

A woman has been given a criminal behaviour order following a sheep worrying incident near Wimborne.

Wendy Knight, 52 and of Sheasby Close in Sixpenny Handley, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog which worried livestock, namely sheep, in Knighton Lane, Wimborne on 12 March 2018.

She was sentenced at Poole Magistrates’ Court on 11 February 2019 and fined £300. She was also made the subject of a criminal behaviour order for two years which states she must not:

• Walk or be in charge of any more than two dogs in any public area or place
• Walk or be in charge of any dog in a public area to which the public has access without the dog wearing a robust and correctly-fitted collar and be on a robust and well-fitted lead at all times
• Walk or be in charge of any dog in a public area without the dog wearing a correctly-fitted muzzle
• Walk or be in charge of any dog on any land that has livestock on it

Knight had been walking her dog – a German Shepherd – in a small paddock next to Canford Magna Garden Centre and allowed her dog off its lead.

It ran off and was seen by witnesses attacking and frightening a flock of around 200 sheep in fields formerly used by Canford Magna Golf Club. Some of the flock at the time of the offence were either pregnant or had just given birth to lambs.

Eventually the dog was located and put back on a lead.

Two sheep sustained severe bite marks and two others had aborted pregnancies after being worried by the dog.

Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, of Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team, said: “This case is a clear example of why all dog owners must ensure their dog is on a lead whenever it is near livestock. It is both distressing for the animals concerned and for the farmers who are tending to them.

“It is also important farmers report each incident to us. If a crime is in progress then call 999. Other incidents can be reported online at Dorset Police website ‘Do it Online’ section or by calling 101.

“If members of the public have any information or concerns regarding dogs not under control near livestock, they too should contact police.”

Dorset Police supports the Take The Lead campaign and can supply metal-backed signs for farmers to warn dog owners of the dangers. The Rural Crime Team can be contacted to request signs or crime prevention advice at RuralCrimeTeam@dorset.pnn.police.uk. This email address is not to be used to report crimes or incidents.