Thursday, 6 March 2014

Dog attacks on sheep are on the increase.

Lambing is well under way
Dog attacks on sheep are a problem throughout the year, but when ewes are heavily pregnant or have young lambs with them, the devastation can be even more acute. I have recently seen the yearly figures for the number of dog attacks on livestock in the county of Sussex (East and West Sussex). The figures show that 139 cases have been recorded over the last year which is a rise of around 13% on the previous year’s figure of 122 attacks, and has been steadily rising over the last few years. 

We also know that there are a large number of unreported attacks which shows we have a significant problem. The county NFU adviser has been liaising with Sussex police for a long time over this issue and they are pleased to report that a joint campaign with the police is to be launched on the issue over the coming months. 

Both the police and NFU are keen to raise awareness amongst the public across the whole country and would like anyone who experiences a dog attack on livestock, to come forward to help with a media campaign. If you would be willing to speak on radio, or write in your local newspaper it would greatly help the cause and they will also provide some guidance for you. 

At this time of the year we can also start to add ground nesting birds into the scenario, so the message that really has to go out to all dogs walkers is "when you are walking in the countryside - KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEAD"!  

1 comment:

  1. While I am against lambs and sheep being attacked there is also the issue of where exactly can dog be let off lead. There are numerous beaches that only allow dogs (either on or off lead) at certain times of the year, national parks don't usually allow dogs to be off lead, more and more councils are banning dogs from sports pitches, countless fields have been sold by councils and farmers to housing developers and now you are saying to keep dogs on a lead in the countryside. Dogs NEED off lead exercise and I think it is a shame that farmers seem to want a blanket ban on dogs being off lead anywhere in the countryside. Additionally if farmers were to provide adequate fencing then they would not have to worry about dogs worrying sheep. This would not only keep dogs out but humans who think it is okay to walk across fields with sheep in them. I have also been to plenty of more rural places where sheep are not contained at all. They are free to roam on the roads and have caused accidents. This results in both injuries and deaths to both humans and sheep. There are also a couple of country paths near me and so many of the fields have wide open access. No fences - nothing. Fair enough they do not contain livestock, but surely arable land needs to be protected too. To summarise. Farmers; if you do not want your sheep being attacked and worried by dogs and humans then ensure your fields have appropriate fencing instead of selfishly wanting dogs to kept on a lead. Thank you.