CALVES AT RISK WHEN OWNERS DON’T CLEAN UP AFTER THEIR DOGS, VET WARNS

Dave Allen of Shires Vets is asking dog owners to clean up after their pets to help protect cattle

Not cleaning up after your dog when walking in open fields could put pregnant cattle at serious risk of losing their calves, a leading Staffordshire vet has warned.

Farmers are turning out their cattle across the country now summer is in full swing, which can be a risky time for animals’ welfare.

The neospora caninum parasite, which can be present in dog faeces, can cause cattle to abort their calves if they eat it when grazing in long grass.

There have also been cases reported of cattle giving birth to stillborn calves due to the infection, which can also be passed on through feed or water.

Dave Allen, Shires’ head of farm animal services, is asking dog walkers to be considerate and make sure they clean up after their pet.

He said:

“The message is simple – it’s not just important to pick up dog poo from the pavement, it is important to pick it up in open fields, too.

“It’s become an increasingly significant issue for farmers to contend with each year, so we’re calling on pet owners to do their bit for the welfare of the animals and countryside in general.

“There is the temptation to consider the great outdoors as fair game for dog fouling – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Shires Vets has practices in Stone, Eccleshall, Gnosall, Loggerheads and Stoke, with a new practice opening in Stafford in the summer. Anyone needing advice on cattle welfare should contact the Eccleshall practice, which handles all large animal enquiries, on 01785 850218. For more information on Shires Vets, visit www.shiresvets.com.