Derbyshire dog owners warned farmers can shoot their pets if they are worrying sheep
Date of alert:
Saturday, 9 April 2022
Derbyshire Police Rural Crime Team is reminding those who walk their dogs near farmers’ fields to keep their dogs under control at all times following a spate of livestock incidents. Livestock worrying is increasingly common, especially in the summer months, as dog owners look to take their pets further afield.
Livestock worrying refers to when a dog chases livestock in a way that may cause injury or suffering, and loss or abortion in female livestock. This can have a huge financial impact on farmers in the area, with NFU Mutual estimating that in 2020 the cost of dog attacks on farm animals across the UK rose by over £120,000 to £1.3 million.
NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist Rebecca Davidson said: “The suffering to animals and the anxiety for farmers could be easily prevented if people kept their dogs on a lead when out in the countryside. There’s a lack of awareness among dog owners about what their pets are capable of and our research found only 40% accepted their dog could injure or harm livestock.
“Even if a dog doesn’t make physical contact, the distress of the chase can also cause sheep to die, miscarry and separate lambs from their mothers. Farm animals are also being chased into danger – drowning in rivers, falling from cliffs and getting their necks trapped in fencing.”
Derbyshire Police’s Rural Crime Team have also been raising awareness regarding livestock worrying, following an attack by a dog which sadly killed two lambs, and injured three others. A spokesperson from the team said: “Another day, another livestock incident. If you follow any other Rural Crime Teams on social media, you will see that this is a national problem and one that is becoming more and more frequent.