With lambing in full swing and millions of walkers expected to descend on the countryside over the Easter holidays, Farmers Guardian has produced a series of videos aimed at highlighting the human impact of livestock worrying.
Will Cockbain, who farms in Keswick, Cumbria, Pauhla Whitaker, Cranham, Gloucester, and Sam and Zoe Stanisstreet, Eastbourne, Sussex, have all found themselves at the centre of horrific dog attacks on their sheep flocks.
The hard-hitting videos will be circulated on social media and via www.fginsight.com in a bid to raise public awareness of the toll livestock worrying takes on farming families.
Zoe Stanisstreet said: “We farm on the Seven Sisters Country Park which is a haven for dog walkers. It has got to the point where I dread a spell of good weather, like over Easter, because I know we will see an influx of walkers and dogs running in with the sheep. In the summer we have an attack every week.”
Pauhla Whitaker added: "It is difficult having sheep worrying on the farm because it is something that you are never able to plan for, you do not know when it is going to happen. It is the unknown that makes it very stressful to deal with."
Mr Cockbain said dog attacks also caused huge pain and heartache for dog owners as well as farmers. “No one wants to see their dog ripping a sheep limb from limb,” he said.
“When a walker’s dog attacked my sheep she was absolutely devastated, the same as me. It is heartbreaking for all concerned, especially when you realise this can all be avoided by keeping your dog on a lead.”
You can help spread the message by sharing the videos on social media using #FGtakethelead.