Walkers leave my land covered in dog excrement, says Peak District farmer
A Derbyshire farmer has told of disgusting scenes on his farm as dog owners routinely let their dogs foul on his land and failed to clean up after them. James Wig, who has a Peak District farm in Middleton-by-Wirksworth, near Matlock, also runs a caravan park on his property to supplement his income.
He says the Covid lockdowns and and increase in the number of dog walkers crossing his grounds mean visitors often come across dog poo on his midway. He also says the feces pose health risks to his valuable livestock.
James said: “It’s ridiculous, I see a lot of it and it’s unpleasant for people on the site because it’s regularly on the trail to the caravans. The other day there were about 16 bags of dog poo.”
“It can also kill and blind my calves and infect them with listeria. That’s the ongoing battle you have.”
Listeria is a bacterium responsible for the disease listeriosis. In most people, listeriosis has no symptoms or only mild symptoms such as high temperature, pain, chills, nausea, and diarrhea. It can, however, lead to more serious health complications for medically vulnerable people.
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It can be caught by eating infected meat.
It comes as farmers in Derbyshire say they need to manage their finances hour by hour and diversify to maximize their income due to rising prices and dwindling government subsidies.
Fertilizer used to cultivate 10 acres of land currently costs £400 – four times what it cost last year – and is expected to rise further.
This situation has been aggravated by a recent wave of dog attacks on farmers’ livestock.
Dog walkers have been warned farmers can legally shoot their dogs if they pose a danger to livestock and told to keep them on a leash after sheep were attacked at a Calow farm in Chesterfield early of the month.
The chairman of the Derbyshire branch of the National Farmers Union, Andrew Critchlow, said: “There has been a huge change since the lockdown, and the number of dogs has still increased.
“There’s a wider range of people coming to the countryside to exercise, and that’s good. But they don’t know the rural code and don’t know how to keep Britain tidy. It’s not ingrained in kids these days like it used to be. It was with me. »