In the past week nearly 200 livestock farmers across the country have answered the call to re-home sheepdogs from farms which have suffered FMD outbreak.
Border Collie Rescue, which operates nationwide, has set up the MAFF approved register to re-home sheepdogs surplus to requirements as infected farms are unable to restock for six months.
In most cases, the dogs are either in the middle of their training or too aged to continueworking on heavily stocked hill farms.
“After all the stock has been culled, some farmers are faced with the tough decision of what to do with their dogs now they have no stock,” explained Mike Cook, spokesman for Border Collie Rescue.”It is one extra pressure at a terrible time so we decided to set up the register
“Contrary to recent press speculation, I would like to emphasise that I have not heard of any farmers dumping their sheepdogs or burying them alongside carcasses because they can’tafford to keep them.”
To ensure that the dogs do not infect stock on the farm where they are re-homed, Border Collie Rescue operates a strict quarantine and disinfecting procedure. The dogs are also assessed to ensure their working abilities are matched to the correct farm type.
Any farmers interested in re-homing sheepdogs should contact Border Collie Rescue on (tel: 01748 850025) or visit www.bordercollierescue.org.uk