Sercombe speaks out on livestock worrying

Dog walking, sheep, lead, Love Your Countryside, sheep worrying, Benji_33559

The NFU’s Charles Sercombe will tell farmers and members of the public that more must be done to prevent cases of livestock worrying.

Speaking at the Sheepwatch UK event in Loughborough this week, the livestock board chairman will call upon police forces to investigate incidents and prosecute those that act irresponsibly.

He will give key recommendations to the farming community to help ensure a reduction in incidents.

Mr Sercombe said: “Livestock worrying has a devastating impact on animal welfare and the farm businesses. We need to continually reiterate to the public as part of our Love Your Countryside campaign the need for vigilance and that they must take responsibility for their dogs to prevent straying and to keep them under control when walking near livestock.

“What I will be saying to farmers is that we need to be very mindful of how difficult it is to pursue a criminal case when these incidents occur as gathering evidence is notoriously difficult. However, I would by no means say in some cases this isn’t necessary. All too often we hear about repeat cases of worrying where dog owners allow their pet to roam free around livestock. Let’s be clear this is wholly unacceptable and these cases must be addressed by the authorities.

“We would urge farmers to speak to their local police force if they are encountering problems and to find out what can be done to prevent cases of livestock worrying. Farmers should also explore with their local police how they gather evidence and only in the last resort should farmers considered shooting the dog.”

Given the amount of public interest and the increase in cases of livestock worrying that have occurred recently, the NFU has worked hard to raise the profile amongst farmers and promote responsible dog ownership in an attempt to reduce these incidents.

“This year has seen the launch of new dog signs to remind the public to keep their dogs on a lead and there is a business guide which details to farmers what options they have when an incident occurs. We hope these, along with the other initiatives, like the event this week will decrease this growing problem on livestock farms.”

  • Posted by: Edith GorstPosted on: 01/06/2016 18:04:13

    Comment: Last week our family saw 2 dogs chasing and attacking our neighbours flock of sheep. The same dogs have done this several times before. The police have not been to see him yet. Our local police seem uninterested.
  • Posted by: Gillian PrivettPosted on: 17/06/2016 06:20:22

    Comment: We had a sheep worrying incident on the day of the SheepWatch conference, have reported it to the police 3 times and not even had a response. All the evidence was there as it was captured on CCTV. We have been to see the dog owner ourselves as tired of waiting for the police to actually do their job
  • Posted by: Ann ScottPosted on: 17/06/2016 08:04:30

    Comment: 'Intrusive Footpaths ' were also at the Sheepwatch conference. No one seems to have yet realised that the various one issue pressure groups are in full swing, and running courses on how to 'claim' historic 'lost' footpaths. They estimate another 20,000!!!!! These 'footpaths' will inevitably include many farms and farmland and are set to cause much more heartache. Increasing 'leisure' walkers with dogs that are not required to be on leads. 38% of incidents already on footpaths in existence NOW. NFU and many others need to wake up to this further threat.
  • Posted by: Ann ScottPosted on: 17/06/2016 08:14:26

    Comment: A further thought concerning public footpaths. Something that puzzles me in the 'logic'. If NUF , farmers and Sheepwatch are more concerned with the 'loose' stray dog worrying what good are 'new signs'? ~ If the dogs are not on a PRoW why would you put up signs, if as we were told, the majority of dogs attacking sheep are loose or escaped from a garden, what help would signs be?

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