Farmers Guardian
Topics
How to spot BSE and what farmers can do to prevent it

How to spot BSE and what farmers can do to prevent it

DataHub

DataHub

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Auction Finder

Auction Finder

British Farming Awards

British Farming Awards

CropTec

CropTec

LAMMA 2020

LAMMA 2020

You are viewing your 1 free article

Register now to receive 2 free articles every 7 days or subscribe for unlimited access.

Subscribe | Register

Dog walkers ‘still quite blasé’ about livestock worrying in the UK countryside

Getting ahead of the issue before it happens with proactive messaging is key to making change, farm vets have said.


Lauren   Dean

TwitterFacebook
Lauren   Dean
TwitterFacebook
Share This

Dog walkers ‘still quite blasé’ about livestock worrying despite social and economic impact #FGTakeTheLead

Dog attacks on livestock are a lose-lose situation and jeopardise farmers’ duty of animal welfare.

 

Veterinary surgeon Kaz Strycharczyk of Black Sheep Farm Health, Northumberland, told Farmers Guardian dog walkers were ‘still quite blasé’ about the topic despite it having a social and economic impact on farmers.

 

He said: “All dogs have that predation instinct and it is amazing how when they get off the lead how their natural behaviours expose themselves.

 

“When an incident happens farmers are understandably upset and angry and struggle to have empathy with dog owners, but we have to understand that a lot of this is ignorance.”


Read More

‘Dog owners don’t want to be told they are irresponsible as they do not think they are’ ‘Dog owners don’t want to be told they are irresponsible as they do not think they are’
British police dealt with more than 1,100 dog attacks on sheep in 2018 British police dealt with more than 1,100 dog attacks on sheep in 2018
Sheep attack victims calling for tougher penalties for dog owners in the UK Sheep attack victims calling for tougher penalties for dog owners in the UK
Welsh Government to clamp down on walkers with dogs off leads near livestock Welsh Government to clamp down on walkers with dogs off leads near livestock

Getting ahead of the issue before it happens with proactive messaging is key to making change, Mr Strycharczyk said.

 

But farmers were facing huge economic impact in paying for a vet to euthanise animals or to ‘stitch them back together’, as well as having to deal with the implications of lower scanning rates and abortion.

 

Preventable

And the impact of neospora was another knock-on effect for farmers, with dogs a major host for a number of livestock parasites and the infection the most common cause of abortion in cattle.

 

It parallels research from NFU Scotland which found 100 per cent of 340 responses to a survey in December last year said they had an issue with dog fouling on their land – including plastic bag pollution.

 

“It is inherently preventable,” he said. “Responsible dog ownership is not complex.

“All these things have a real negative social effect on farmers and it can take all the fun out of farming. Working with animals is fantastic until something like this happens.”

 

Scarsdale Veterinary Group farm vet Rob Howard said impacts from dogs attacks on scanned rates could be ‘massive’ and often failed to be appreciated.

 

He said: “Where the farmer is most aggravated is where people have been watching their dogs do it and they do not see it as a big deal. Maybe the dog is just chasing the sheep and not attacking.

 

“If an attack is severe it usually requires a lot of surgery time to patch them back together, and then a course of antibiotics.

 

“The costs can be quite significant, especially when it is unplanned and the farmer has not budgeted for it.”

Getting our Take the Lead signs

Getting our Take the Lead signs

We have 1,000s of livestock worrying signs which you can nail to gateposts or fenceposts near footpaths to highlight the problem to walkers.

If you would like some of these signs, please send a stamped, self-addressed A4 envelope to

FG Take the Lead, Farmers Guardian,

Unit 4, Fulwood Business Park,

Preston, Lancashire,

PR2 9NZ.

 

You will need at least three First Class or Second Class stamps on to cover postage costs. We will be able send up to 25 signs.

TwitterFacebook
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

Most Recent

Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS