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Farmer plans dog open day to combat sheepworrying

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 17, 2013

By Peter Hall

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Farming Editor

Farmer Paul Parfitt is "fed up to the back teeth" with the problems of dogs on his land, chasing and worrying his sheep and cattle.

But he doesn't want to start shooting the offending canines, because – apart from the anguish – it would be bad for business.

Instead Mr Parfitt, who owns beautiful Chyvaloe Farm at Gunwalloe, near Helston, is organising a special dog awareness day on his land.

He hopes dog owners and their pets will turn up for a day of entertainment and education.

He aims to hold the special event on July 14.

He explained: "I want to try to educate people about walking with dogs through livestock, and also to show them what to do if there are problems."

He said he was at the end of his tether with dog worrying.

There have already been 10 incidents so far this year – and although he does not have any footpaths over his land he thinks people walk dogs there because it is very pretty, and also because he has regular farm open days to promote his online beef and lamb business.

He added: "I've given up keeping count of the lambs I've lost to dogs – and I've even had heifers abort their young after being worried by dogs."

But largely because of his business he does not want to start shooting dogs. "I want to put a positive spin on the problem," he said.

He hopes to get about 150 dogs along for the open day, and the police dog team will be there to put on a bit of a show of agility and training.

The farm is next to Loe Pool, south of Helford.

He has a commercial flock of ewes and his wife has a pedigree flock of Soay sheep, and they have two herds of beef cattle, a commercial herd of Belgian Blues and a pedigree herd of Beef Shorthorns.

Anyone interested in attending the Dog Awareness Day should phone Mr Parfitt on 07979 196569.

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