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Rural crime teams report rise in dog attacks on sheep

Almost 80% of rural crime teams reported an increase in dog attacks on sheep over recent years, according to a survey from the National Sheep Association (NSA).

The survey of rural police teams also revealed that 76% of the forces responded to sheep worrying by dog incidents at least once a month.

In addition, 57% of respondents said that sheep worrying by dogs was their most frequently reported rural crime, with 33% reporting dealing with sheep worrying incidents on a weekly basis.

Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, said: “We know that cases continue to rise, however only a fraction of those do actually get reported to the police due to farmers believing there may be little this action can do, but NSA urges farmers to report all attacks as we continue to strive to reveal the true alarming level of this problem.

“Only then can we hope for much needed legislation to be brought about that punishes those responsible for these crimes appropriately and acts as a true deterrent to those who continue to ignore the recommendations to keep dogs on leads near livestock and to know where they are at all times.”

The NSA has launched its annual ‘sheep worrying by dogs awareness campaign’ to highlight the severity of the issue, increasing awareness among dog walkers of the importance of keeping pets on a lead and under control whenever livestock might be nearby.

The campaign will include social media activity using the campaign hashtag #LeadOn, as well as online case studies and content on the NSA website.

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