Riddlesdown goat dies after vicious attack by off-lead dog

Just a few weeks after the City Commons rangers released a flock of six goats to graze the rocky quarry at Riddlesdown, one of the animals has had to be put to sleep by vets, after it had been savaged by a dog that had been allowed to run off the lead.

‘Completely avoidable’: one of the Riddlesdown goats had to be put to sleep after a dog attack

Two other goats were also injured in the attack.

City Commons announced the news in their monthly newsletter.

They said, “A dog attacked the goats in the quarry and injured three of them.

“While the rangers and members of the public were quick to respond, one of the goats had to be euthanised due to the severity of the wounds.”

And the rangers explained, “Incidents like these are fortunately not common but nonetheless extremely tragic and completely avoidable.

“It is a criminal offence to allow your dog to worry livestock, even if the dog does not physically harm the animal.

“Dog owners must keep their dogs under control at all times (within sight and able to come back when called) and on a lead when walking through fields with sheep.” Or goats, or cattle.

Using livestock to graze down areas where wildflowers thrive and blossom in the spring and summer is an increasingly widespread conservation policy, actively used in the open spaces at Coulsdon, Farthing Downs, Chipstead Valley and at Roundshaw Downs.

Riddlesdown Quarry provides its own challenges, which is why sure-footed goats were chosen to graze there.

The rangers say, “The quarry is an amazing habitat with chalk wildflowers, reptiles and butterflies, but its steep slopes and thick scrub bring unique challenges for grazing livestock. Luckily these goats are very much up to the task and made little time getting into the thick scrub on the quarry top.”

  • The City Commons rangers are holding a series of public events at their sites across Croydon and neighbouring areas in the next few weeks:

Heritage walk – Farthing Downs
Saturday 26 November 10am-12pm
Discover the fascinating history of Farthing Downs and its many uses from Iron Age farm to Anglo Saxon cemetery and WWII defensive position. Suggested donation £3 per person. Booking via Eventbrite

Heritage walk – Coulsdon Common
Sunday 27 November 10.30am-12pm
Discover the rich heritage and history of Coulsdon Common from windmills to workhouses and military training grounds used by Canadian soldiers. Suggested donation £3 per person. Booking via Eventbrite

Wreath making – Coulsdon Common
Friday 2 December 7pm-9pm
Come get in the festive spirit to make your own Christmas wreath adorned with natural materials gathered from Coulsdon Common. Festive refreshments provided. £20 per group/wreath. Booking via Eventbrite

Wreath making – Coulsdon Common
Saturday 3 December 4pm-6pm
Come get in the festive spirt to make your own Christmas wreath adorned with natural materials gathered from Coulsdon Common. Festive refreshments provided. £20 per group/wreath. Booking via Eventbrite

Santa’s reindeer self-guided trail – Kenley Common
Thursday 22 December 12-2pm
Santa’s reindeer have been busy on Kenley Common. Come and explore their woodland trail, make your own reindeer decoration and get a magical prize at the end! Follow the map and clues for a short 30min trail or longer 60min trail. No booking required. £3 suggested donation per child on the day. Meeting point and more information on this Eventbrite page

  • And the City Commons are always seeking volunteers to assist with conservation work. The following sessions are coming up:

Farthing Downs
Thursday 24 November 10am-3pm
Sunday 27 November 10am-3pm

Coulsdon Common
Thursday 1 December 10am-3pm

To be added to the mailing list for volunteering and updates, please email the City Commons rangers.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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9 Responses to Riddlesdown goat dies after vicious attack by off-lead dog

  1. SSRyan says:

    That is so sad, the owner should be thoroughly ashamed.

  2. James Seabrook says:

    Maybe the owner should be ordered to replace the animals their dog injured. Or take away their dog ownership rights. There is no way people can be allowed to be so irresponsible.

  3. Lewis White says:

    Bring back the Dog Licence. I wonder how much Croydon has to spend on emptying dog bins?
    Dog owners should pay towards for these costs, in my view.

    • Dan Kelly says:

      Don’t forget the Dog Warden. Their services cost too.
      We should also start keeping DNA so that these rogue dogs and their owners can be tracked down.

    • Ralph Fretton says:

      dog owners pay council tax – if you say we pay extra for dog shit collection, i want a refund for the upkeep of libraries which i dont frequent – + many of the commoms are owned by the city of london which has shed loads of money.

  4. bob kershaw says:

    I’m so sick of dogs everywhere.

  5. So many dogs on Riddlesdown. It’s shame. “Where can we walk without dogs running everywhere, threatening you and sh***ing everywhere? To be fair, quite a few owners now pick up the sh*** and dispose of it in the bins. Or at least those that don’t hang the bag from a branch

  6. Lewis White says:

    I have no problem at all, with responsible dog owners, who keep their furry loved ones under control when walking on farmland or in areas such as Banstead Woods open grasslands and Riddlesdown, and Farthing Downs/ Happy Valley, where cattle, sheep and goats are grazing –and who pick up their charges’ poo.

    Sadly, there are still too many who don’t act responsibly, and don’t put the dog on the lead when near grazing areas. Dogs naturally like to herd ….. but inevitably, this scares the livestock. Some also go into attack mode. The smaller livestock stand no chance. .

    There have been several similar, avoidable tragedies in many other local places I have named above, over the last decade or 2, when the downs were re-opened to conservation grazing.

    As with Christopher, I am very happy with the vast majority who do pick up the waste, and either take it home and bin it, or use the dog waste bins provided by the cash-strapped councils. The weird mindset of people who bag the poo, then hang the bag and poo up on a fence (who do they expect to clear it?) or chuck it in the bushes where the weighty bags fall to the floor or get impaled on thorns, festooning the hedges, there to rot until the poo eats through the plastic…….. well, what does go on in their minds?

    There are many such hedges and woodland areas around our area that are littered with plastic bags. Pretty nasty.

    I do not begrudge dog owners their enjoyment of having and walking out with their dogs, who, after all, are family members. Many open spaces would be little used if it were not for dog walkers. Dog walking is good for the physical and mental health of dog and owner !

    The problem comes when the numbers of dogs in one area are too high. Paths get worn out.

    One thing I really do object to, are commercial dog walkers who have too few staff (often one person only) with more than a couple of dogs, off the leads at once. They are out every day, in the same areas.

    Would it be the right thing, for these firms to be paying the councils a fee to use their lands, and that they should have to be licensed yearly to do that, properly insured, and subject to inspection by a dog warden every year ? Plus, if that were in place, to display a large badge to show they are “approved”, for the peace of mind of the public?

    A few such firms have bought their own land to exercise their charges, but for most, their workplace is public land, owned by councils. They should be under some form of oversight, and contribute to the considerable cost of clearing the dog waste, in my view.

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