Council set to criminalise dog walkers. The consultation period closes on 23rd November so please act now to ensure your voice is heard.
Please have your say and tell the Council that you do not consider that there are grounds to make a PSPO.
Please tick the ‘strongly disagree’ box in relation to all 3 options on the council survey and put your additional comments in the boxes provided.
That may include commenting on your personal experiences of what you have seen on the Tye and the alternative sites that have been suggested for dog walking. Those are Chatsworth Park and the clifftop and the undercliff. There are no parks in East Saltdean that have been suggested by Telscombe Town Council where dogs can be walked off the lead because there aren’t any.
Lewes District Council is considering imposing a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) on Telscombe Tye in order to restrict dog walking. This will mean that you can be convicted of a criminal offence for walking your dog on the Tye off the lead even if there are no sheep actually on the Tye and face a £1000 fine.
PSPOs are designed to tackle ‘activities carried on in a public place which have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in its locality’ They are commonly used to prevent street drinking and begging and other antisocial behaviour.
The local farmer (who is also a town councillor and the Deputy Mayor of Telscombe Cliffs) has ALLEGED that there were 31 sheep and 50 lambs killed by dogs on the Tye in 2017. This relates to the community flock of 100 adults and their offspring so represents a third of the flock in one year. This is 500 times the national average!!
Local residents have been asking Lewes District Council for the last six weeks to disclose evidence to support the allegations made by the farmer. NONE WHATSOEVER has been provided. There have been NO witness accounts, NO vet’s reports, NO records of sheep being disposed of. The farmer alleges that 81 sheep and lambs were killed in 2017 and yet has provided 8 photos of sheep with injuries with NO proof of when those photos were taken and most importantly, NO proof that those injuries were caused by dogs.
But what is incredibly telling is the fact that Sussex Police have disclosed to local residents under a Freedom of Information Act request that NOT ONE SINGLE sheep death was reported to them in 2017. Why would a farmer who has lost a third of the adult sheep in the flock he has been entrusted to care for on behalf of the community not report those attacks to the police? and why would he not mention any of the attacks in six council meetings he attended in 2017, only claiming that they have happened in the very last meeting in November of that year?
There are numerous other reasons to explain sheep deaths on the Tye. Fox attacks, infectious diseases, congenital diseases, exposure and starvation, lack of flock management and husbandry by the farmer. The farmer in question was convicted in 2001 of animal neglect and disqualified from keeping sheep for 10 years in what the RSPCA Inspector said was one of the worst cases of neglect she’d ever encountered.
Guardians of the Tye