Welsh Government warns owners to keep dogs under control around livestock
Dog owners are being reminded to keep their animals under control around sheep and other livestock as lambing season gets underway in Wales.
The Welsh Government has warned of the importance of keeping dogs on a lead or under close control at all times and owners should be confident pets will return on command.
Research has found most incidents involving dogs worrying or attacking sheep happens on land which is not accessible to the public.
The Countryside Code, published by Natural Resources Wales, provides clear guidance on the responsibility of dog owners to keep their dogs under effective control.
Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “We have seen the very sad and distressing images where dogs have attacked livestock.
“We know most people are doing the right thing in keeping control of their dogs, but we also recognise some are not.
“The emotional and financial costs for those who own or find dead and injured livestock, is simply unacceptable, as are the implications to animal welfare.
“Responsible dog ownership is key and by taking the required steps, lambs and other livestock will be safe.”
Research carried out by NFU Mutual estimated that farm animals worth almost £440,000 were severely injured or killed by dogs in Wales last year.
The Welsh Government’s Wales Rural & Wildlife Crime Coordinator, Rob Taylor said: “Sheep worrying and brutal livestock attacks by pet dogs are sadly a regular occurrence across Wales, which is wholly preventable with responsible dog ownership.
“Owners need to be aware that it is a dog’s natural instinct to chase or even attack livestock and at this time of year it is more harrowing when ewes are pregnant or with already born lambs.
“We ask owners to be aware of the risks and use common sense, by walking dogs where livestock are not present.
“It’s vital they understand that an attack on livestock, although unintended, may result in their pet being shot, or euthanised on a court order after a conviction and nobody wants that to happen.”
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