Sheep farmers have been urged they have a bigger role to play to see a long-term result on sheep worrying.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) put out a stark warning to the industry after its recent survey found only 40 per cent of the industry affected by a dog attack reported every incident to the police.
The survey was part of an initiative to encourage farmers to be more fierce in their approach to a better police response.
NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said the only way to build an ‘accurate picture of the true scale of the problem’ was to report incidents and ask for a crime or incident number.
He said: “We have to continue to put pressure on police forces to deal with this crime in a serious and consistent way and if they do not have the resources to do that then we need to help them build evidence that they are not keeping up with reported crimes.
“I am afraid that we are hearing of police forces that are making the right noises but still not responding effectively.”
Nearly three quarters of sheep farmers surveyed blasted dog walkers for assuming their pets will do no damage to livestock (72 per cent) with a further 62 per cent baffled by a lack of concern by pet owners.
More than 60 per cent of respondents said death and injury was the most common impact of a dog attack and nearly half said loose dogs caused a loss of production and abortion in ewes.
A further 43 per cent said sheep had to be put down in the months after an attack.
Mr Stocker added: “It is vital for dog owners to realise that any dog, no matter how well trained, is capable of attacking livestock and the effects stretch far further than the initial and obvious injuries.”
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
For more information click here.