Ninety five per cent of sheep farmers have experienced a dog attack on their farm in the past 18 months, with 49 per cent of incidents proving fatal, a survey by the National Sheep Association (NSA) has revealed.
With the average cost of an attack coming in at more than £1,000, 70 per cent of respondents claimed they had been forced to adapt the way they farm, which included building tougher fencing along footpaths and disusing badly impacted fields.
Appealing for action, NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: “NSA is really frustrated to see from the results of our 2020 dog worrying survey, that show dog attacks are occurring as frequently as ever and continuing to result in a high cost emotionally and financially from this needless act.”
Despite coordinated campaigns such as Farmers Guardian’s Take the Lead campaign which has been helping to change attitudes among dog owners, Mr Stocker highlighted targeted efforts by police to crack down on the issue would need to be improved in order to prevent further attacks.
With an overwhelming 72 per cent of the 97 respondents registering negative feelings from the police response, Mr Stocker added: “Our dog worrying campaign draws attention to this data and offers sheep farmers some social media graphics to be shared with the public.
“But the NSA is also continuing to focus on shifting legislation and regularly works with police forces across the country to draw attention to and try to prevent dog worrying.”
To see the full survey, click here.