The Dales Way. Dogs and Cattle.

Ilk T Club Dogs 3

A lady dog walker contacted us and sent in the above photograph. She was concerned that the sign, positioned next to the Dales Way finger post, may be misinterpreted by first time Dales Way walkers thinking that it referred to the Dales Way footpath.

The notice is in the grounds of the Tennis Club indicating that no dogs are allowed inside their property. Dogs are welcome along the Dales Way but must always be under control.

As prospective walkers may be dusting down their guide books and maps, ready to embark on the great adventure, now is an appropriate time to add a few words re the title above.

Re your dogs, they must be under your control: on a lead where a notice requests you to do so, and in a field where animals are present.

Re dogs you may meet en route: problems with aggressive animals are extremely rare, but if you or any member of your party are threatened by a dog, the incident should be reported to the local police who will take appropriate action. We would like to be informed also, where we would take the matter up with the Authority or Council concerned. The Dogs Act 1871, although old is still powerful, providing a civil remedy . . . . even in and around a private dwelling. (Defra)

Re Cattle: again, problems with walkers and cattle are infrequent, but do happen. As a large part of the Dales Way passes through farmland (completely closed in 2001 because of the Foot and Mouth  outbreak) you can see cattle anywhere on your walk. The last incident reported to the YDNPA was in October 2012 and they sent the following information to help walkers.

“In the Yorkshire Dales, it is relatively common to find non-dairy bulls in a field along with cows or heifers, where that field is crossed by a right of way. It is important to understand that this is perfectly legal. However if a walker was attacked and injured by the cattle or bull and injured, the keeper may be liable for prosecution and sued for damages (under various acts,  if it was proved that he was aware of dangerous characteristics in the animals.)

The nature of Dales farming often means that the best grazing land is in the dales bottoms and this tends to be where the footpaths also run. We always advise to give cattle a wide berth. Dogs and cattle are often the trigger for incidents, where the cattle, especially when calves are present, become suspicious of the dog. In this case our advice is to let go of the dogs lead and quickly exit the field, allowing the dog to outrun the cattle”

Iain Mann. YDNPA

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