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Dog worrying incident claims hit record high of £1.4m

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The number of dog attacks on livestock increased by almost 50 per cent last year with the total cost of claims reported at a record level of more than £1.4 million.

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Dog-worrying incident claims hit record high #FGtakethelead #sheep365

Rural insurer NFU Mutual found costs more than trebled in Scotland and doubled in the Midlands, with the average cost of a claim jumping to more than £1,300 – an £800 increase on the cost before.

 

Tim Price, rural affairs specialist at NFU Mutual, said the impact of dog attacks on livestock have become all too common.

 

He said: “As the insurer of nearly three-quarters of the UK’s farmers and many hobby farmers, we are sadly all too aware of the heartbreak and huge financial loss that dog attacks cause.

 

 

"For small farmers in particular, livestock worrying is devastating because it has a huge impact on their productivity.

 

“While insurance can cover the cost of replacing stock killed and the treatment of injured animals, there is a knock-on effect on breeding programmes that can take years to overcome.”

Mr price said an increase in higher individual costs of claims could be a result of an increase of attacks on pedigree and rare breed sheep.

 

Keep watch

He urged farmers to ‘watch out’ for livestock worrying, put up warning signs and ensure hedges, walls and fences are ‘properly maintained’.

 

It came as a farmer in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, was left facing the consequences after six of his sheep were injured in a worrying incident last week.

 

The sheep have since all died.

 

“The number of incidents reported to us is a small fraction of the total, which we estimate cost the industry £1.4 million last year,” Mr Price added.

 

“Often, farmers do not report livestock worrying because their sheep have simply disappeared, or they cannot prove the animals' deaths or injuries were caused by dogs.”

 

He encouraged people to report out-of-control dogs to a local farmer or to the police, and remind any dog walkers to keep their pets on a lead.

 

Anyone with information of the dog worrying incident in Cumbria is urged to contact Cumbria police on 101 quoting log 81 of February 9 2017.

take the lead

 

Take the Lead

To request Take the Lead signs which warn dog owners to keep their pets on a lead around livestock, send a self-addressed A4 envelope with at least three first class stamps to:

 

FG Take the Lead, Farmers Guardian

Unit 4, Fulwood Business Park

Preston, Lancashire

PR2 9NZ

 

For more information click here.

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