‘Out of control’ dog viciously attacks deer at nature reserve

PUBLISHED: 14:23 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:48 07 March 2018

A muntjac deer was attacked by a dog at Holme nature reserve. Picture: Neil Marks

A muntjac deer was attacked by a dog at Holme nature reserve. Picture: Neil Marks

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Dog owners are being urged to keep their pets under control after a deer was savagely attacked at a nature reserve.

A muntjac deer was attacked by a dog at Holme nature reserve. Picture: Matthew UsherA muntjac deer was attacked by a dog at Holme nature reserve. Picture: Matthew Usher

The incident happened at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) Holme Dunes on Saturday, March 3, where a muntjac deer was attacked by a dog off its lead.

The deer subsequently sustained severe injuries and had to be shot by the reserve warden to put it out of its misery.

An NWT spokesman said the reserve warden spoke to the dog owners at the scene of the incident and the police were called.

A police spokesman said they attended the scene at 12.30pm and were satisfied no offences were committed under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

The spokesman said the owners were issued with a dog incident notice which includes a number of conditions the owners must meet when taking their dog out in public.

Some of the conditions in the notice include attending dog training classes, muzzling the dog or keeping it on a lead in public.

The NWT is urging the public to keep their pets under control when visiting the nature reserve, especially as the bird nesting season begins.

A spokesman added: “The reserve warden made us aware straight away of a dog that had been off-lead and out of control.

“Large numbers of responsible dog owners use the English Coast Path and beach at NWT Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve but unfortunately a persistent minority of irresponsible owners cause ongoing disturbance and damage to the sensitive wildlife of the site by allowing out of control dogs off lead.

“With the bird nesting season approaching, the reserve is at its most sensitive, but with livestock and other wildlife present year round, the recent incident in which a dog attacked a deer demonstrates it is critical for visitors to have their dogs under full and close control at all times.

“Whilst it is recognised that NWT nature reserves are important for recreation and education, as well as wildlife, the trust has a policy of not allowing dogs to be taken onto some reserves to prevent disturbance except for public footpaths.

“Registered assistance dogs are allowed on our reserves provided they are kept under close control.”

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