Farmers Guradian
Topics
Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Arable Farming Magazine

Arable Farming Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

British Farming Awards

CropTec

LAMMA 2018

New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
Login or Register
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now

A message to dog owners: Here's how you can prevent livestock worrying...

It’s up to dog owners to take the lead on livestock worrying - so here’s some tips to help prevent it...



Twitter Facebook
Twitter Facebook

Meet Lennox. He’s our 15-year-old family dog who we picked up when I was 11.

 

This is the look he gives me when he wants something - usually whatever I’m eating at the time.

 

He’s the softest dog I’ve ever met - he doesn’t even bark. He’s pretty obedient too.

 

But he was brought up on the streets of Peterborough, Monchengladbach, Gloucester - and now lives in Accrington.

 

He’s a dog who isn’t interested in other dogs - he just wanders on his merry little way.

 

But I still wouldn’t trust him around livestock - he’s just not used to that.

 

There’s a chance that if he got loose in a field with sheep he would chase them. And from there it’s only a short step to livestock worrying.

 

If you can socialise puppies with farm animals before they are three months old, the risk of them going on to worry livestock is massively reduced.

 

However, the way we live nowadays means many town and country dwellers don’t have access to farms where they can introduce puppies to livestock in controlled conditions.


Read More

Children to learn about livestock worrying as Take the Lead campaign hits schools Children to learn about livestock worrying as Take the Lead campaign hits schools
Farmers and landowners join FG in spreading Take the Lead message Farmers and landowners join FG in spreading Take the Lead message
Farmers Guardian Take the Lead campaign Farmers Guardian Take the Lead campaign
FG Take the Lead gets new sponsor as more dog attacks emerge FG Take the Lead gets new sponsor as more dog attacks emerge
From the editor: Time the public realised they have to Take the Lead From the editor: Time the public realised they have to Take the Lead

The result is that like Lennox, many dogs are likely to react to unknown large animals with fear. And a dog’s defence mechanism to fear is aggression.

 

This lack of socialisation could be one of the reasons why the cost of claims for dog attacks on livestock reported to rural insurer NFU Mutual rose by nearly 50 per cent across the UK in 2016.

 

Between January and April, when pregnant ewes and lambs are often grazing on low-lying pasture in areas more accessible to walkers, the cost of claims more than doubled.

 

And we’ve seen similar figures in 2017.

 

With many families expected to visit the countryside during the summer holidays, NFU Mutual is urging people to keep their dogs on a lead at all times to remove the risk of pets on family walks attacking sheep.

 

It’s worth pointing out that it’s not just big, aggressive-looking dogs that attack livestock – well-behaved family pets can worry sheep or cattle. And once a dog has attacked livestock, there is a high probability that it will strike again.

 

As well as causing terrible injuries and suffering to ewes and lambs, worrying has a huge cost to agriculture. For small and hobby farmers in particular, the impact of livestock worrying can be devastating.

While insurance can cover the cost of replacing stock, the stress of worrying can cause ewes to abort their lambs. This leads to a knock-on effect on breeding programmes that can take years to overcome.

 

The simpler way to prevent your dog worrying sheep – is to always keep it on a lead when there’s a chance livestock could be around.

 

Never assume you dog’s sweet nature means it won’t attack sheep. It’s simply its genetic heritage.

Tips for dog owners

Tips for dog owners
  • When in or near fields with livestock, keep your dog on a lead and under control at all times
  • Familiarise your dog with livestock from a young age
  • Always check for livestock in fields when walking your dog
  • Report sightings of out of control dogs to local farmers or the police
Twitter Facebook
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS