Tourism and mountain livestock

Handbook

Recommendations

  • Any gates that you come across on footpaths should be left as you found them (open or closed).
  • Avoid straying off marked paths.
  • If you come across any animals, try to leave as much space as possible as you pass them and do not make any noise. Keep a distance between you and any animals.
  • Do not touch or stroke young animals, including foals and calves. The mother is likely to be close by and could attack you to defend her offspring.
  • Keep your dog under control and on a lead.
  • Do not carry bags in your hands (animals may react abruptly if they think that you are carrying salt).
  • Do not feed animals.
  • Do not frighten or chase animals.
  • If you are travelling in a vehicle and you come across animals on the road (cows, horses), do not beep your horn, wait for them to move out of the way of their own accord. Do not ever try to force them to move, you could cause an accident.

Sheep dogs

You may come across sheep dogs whilst walking in the mountains. You should know that these dogs are trained to protect the flock. They do not attack, but rather try to dissuade you from getting too close. They may be large and strong, and they bark to instil respect. If they feel there is danger, they will put themselves between the threat and the flock and bark. If the person they perceive to be an intruder ignores this, the dogs may try to confront them, therefore:

Always:

  • Ignore sheep dogs.
  • Do not approach them and do not try to stroke them.
  • If you encounter a flock of sheep, keep your distance.
  • Be careful with conduct that may seem normal to you (trying to feed them, stroking them, taking a photo etc.). The dogs could interpret these actions as being aggressive.
  • If you come face-to-face with a sheep dog, stay calm and passive in order to reassure it.
  • If you have a pet dog with you, keep it on a lead; try to avoid it coming face-to-face with the sheep dog.

Coexistence:

  • Mountain tourism is fully compatible with livestock farming as long as the environment and other users are respected.
  • Livestock farming is a traditional activity in our territory which gives life to the mountains.
  • Livestock farming contributes to preserving the landscape, keeping the mountains and pastures in good condition and preventing fires.
  • In the summer, we all enjoy being in the mountains, but for five months of the year it is the habitat of livestock animals. They eat there, they sleep there and they move across the land following ancestral pastoral routines.
  • Thoughtless attitudes, resulting from a lack of knowledge regarding the possible reactions animals may have to certain conduct should be avoided.

Department of Agriculture

Telephone: +376 875 717 
Email address: agricultura@andorra.ad