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Sheep worrying in the news headlines again

The BBC News reported this week on the difficulties and hardships faced by farmers through the actions of irresponsible dog owners who allow their dogs to chase and attack livestock. Currently, dog owners are not required by law to report if their dog attacks any livestock and these attacks are not treated as recordable crimes on police systems.

As a result of research the National Police Chief’s Council is calling for greater powers to obtain DNA from dogs suspected of committing such attacks to test against the DNA taken from injured livestock to enable a prosecution to be taken up against the dog owner.

The UK government’s animal welfare minister has also confirmed that they will be considering such recommendations as:

  • Dog owners being warned following any sheep attacks by their pet dogs
  • The establishment of a DNA database in a bid to combat dog mess

The BBC reported that
“As part of the NPCC report, North Wales Police led a six-month trial last year aimed at improving the recording of these attacks, which involved four other forces – Devon and Cornwall, Sussex, Hertfordshire and North Yorkshire.

The study found North Wales Police recorded 648 livestock were killed and 376 were injured between 2013-17.

It led to 52 dogs being shot – the highest number of the five forces. The second highest was North Yorkshire Police, which logged 16 shot dogs”.

The law needs to and very well may change to enable the protection of farming livestock and to make dog owners think twice before letting their dogs chase sheep.

When out enjoying the countryside with your dogs, when near livestock keep them on a lead to keep them safe from the possibility of being charged with worrying or attacking livestock.

  • Haxby
  • Wigginton
  • Strensall
  • Clifton Moor
  • Rawcliffe
  • Huntington
  • Earswick