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National sheep worrying conference to raise awareness of dog attacks

Sheep producers have encouraged the wider farming community to throw its weight behind a national sheep worrying conference.

Olivia   Midgley

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Olivia   Midgley
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Police statistics show more than 2,000 dog attacks on livestock in the last two years
Police statistics show more than 2,000 dog attacks on livestock in the last two years

The event, organised by SheepWatch will see a range of speakers from the farming and dog industries come together to share knowledge and work towards a solution to the growing problem.


Statistics obtained from the police by Farmers Guardian revealed there have been more than 2,000 dog attacks on livestock in the last two years alone.


SheepWatch founder Terena Plowright, who farms in Hampshire and organised the event, said: “This is about finding solutions, bringing organisations together, finding educational options, promoting action at a local level, and promoting discussion.

 

Experiences


“We need to raise the profile of dog attacks on sheep and I’d encourage as many farmers as possible to come to this event to share their experiences. There will be people there to listen but we need to stress to them how important this is.”


James and his mother Ros Baker, who returned from Devon County Show last week to find several of their breeding lambs had been savaged by a dog, said the conference was a positive step.


“We need to raise awareness of dog attacks not only amongst the public but with Defra and the police, who do not seem to take this seriously,” said Mr Baker, who lost seven lambs in the attack.


Mrs Baker added: “It’s a big problem in our area. The insurers who came out to deal with our claim said they were dealing with three or four attacks every week.”


It came as a 31-year-old woman from Carluke, Lanarkshire, was charged with being in charge of a husky type dog which worried, chased and injured and killed sheep at two farms in the area on two separate occasions.

 


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FG Take The Lead campaign

FG Take The Lead campaign

Farmers Guardian has been working to raise the profile of dog attacks on livestock and promote responsible dog ownership through its Take the Lead campaign.

 

To order a batch of free signs, sponsored by The Original Muck Boot Company, which warn walkers to keep their dogs on a lead, 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

 

*The SheepWatch UK conference will take place at Rosebery St Peter’s Community Centre - Storer Road, Loughborough, LE11 5EQ on June 3 at 10am.

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