A DOG owner has been given a Community Resolution Order after her pet destroyed a number of rare bird eggs in the New Forest.

The incident happened on Friday May 27 when a dog was captured by cameras – set up to monitor the progress of rare bird nests in Burley – entering a protected Curlew nest area and destroying a number of eggs.

The dog had been seen to repeatedly attack the nest and consume the eggs on three separate occasions.

Police enquiries were carried out and the owner of the dog was identified.

A 48-year-old woman from Christchurch was given a Community Resolution Order – a way of tackling some crime types or first-time offenders without taking the matter to court – requiring the owner to consider putting the dog forward for extensive training courses.

She was also issued and ordered to sign a Dog Behaviour Contract which requires her to walk the dog on a lead if on Forestry England land during nesting bird season from March to September.

The woman is also required to ensure that any dog owned by the individual, including the one involved in the original offences, or a family member is kept under control at all times and is only taken out in the presence of an appropriate person who has full control of the dog.

Rural crime officer Police Constable Matthew Thelwell said: “Curlews are ground nesting birds that are extremely rare and endangered – and sadly in this case – there was no clear attempt or intent by the owner to control their dog whilst off its lead.

“This has led to the destruction of a number of rare eggs, as well as the nesting area of the birds in the local area and constitutes an offence under the Countryside and Wildlife Act 1981.

“There are numerous Forestry England information boards and warning to dog walkers to keep their dogs under control in the area due to the Curlew nesting birds and other animals.

“Sadly on this occasion this advice was ignored and as a result we have taken robust action to ensure that this situation does not happen again.”

A spokesperson for the New Forest Verderers added: “It is simply not acceptable for dog owners to allow their animals to kill, injure or chase kill wildlife or livestock. The importance of dogs being under control cannot be overestimated.

“When an incident such as the destruction of this curlew nest occurs, we wholeheartedly support Hampshire Constabulary’s officers for taking the action they have. Hopefully it will be a warning to other dog walkers that they must keep their dogs under proper control.”