NFU Cymru strongly supports the introduction of new legislation surrounding livestock worrying and recently wrote to the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths MS to outline its key asks.
The union has identified the need for clear and enforceable legislation to ensure that dogs are on a short fixed length lead at all times in the countryside except where personal safety is threatened.
NFU Cymru has also asked for wider provisions to be made, for example, to ensure access users clear up after their dogs to reduce the risk of disease being spread to livestock. In addition, the union believes far more must done to address attacks on livestock that occur when pets are unsupervised.
This is a matter of significant concern to members that impacts greatly on the health and welfare of livestock and the health and well-being of farmers who have to deal with the consequences. We ask that Welsh Government works to address this issue without delay.
There have been a number of dog attacks in Monmouthshire and Ceredigion...
Commenting on the attack in Monmouthshire where 50 ewes smothered, NFU Cymru Monmouthshire County Chairman, David Edwards said: “This shocking attack on 50 ewes is heart-breaking for the family involved, as well as the local community. Farming families have responsibility for the welfare of every animal on their farms and to see sheep maimed and killed in this manner is extremely upsetting. It is something no farmer should have to go through.
“With lambing season upon us, it is even more important to make sure you are in control of your dogs at all times. There will soon be lambs at foot as well and we simply cannot have a repeat of this dreadful incident, with dangerously out of control dogs being allowed to wreak havoc and destroy livestock in this way.
“It is concerning to hear reports of a large number of ‘lockdown puppies’ now becoming adolescent dogs that have not been trained properly due to the pandemic. While the vast majority of dog owners believe that their dog is docile and would not harm sheep or other animals, dogs can cause distress, injury and death to livestock if they are not walked responsibly, particularly when that dog is not familiar with livestock.”
Commenting on the attack in Ceredigion NFU Cymru Livestock Board Chairman Wyn Evans said: “While the vast majority of dog owners believe that their dog is docile and would not harm sheep or other animals, dogs can cause distress, injury and death to livestock if they are not walked responsibly, particularly when that dog is not familiar with livestock.
“I can appreciate that many people take great joy in walking their dog in Wales’ beautiful countryside. I also recognise that exercise is particularly important for people’s physical and mental health during this time of lockdown. However, I plead with dog owners to please keep their dog on a lead around livestock to avoid distressing incidents like the one that has occurred on our farm in recent days.
“Sheep farming is more than a livelihood for our family. We have responsibility for the welfare of every animal we have on the farm. To see our pregnant ewes maimed and killed in this manner has been a very upsetting experience for us. It is something no farmer should have to go through. Please act responsibly and keep your dog on a lead when livestock are nearby.”
- Attack on sheep prompts warning from NFU Cymru
- NFU Cymru takes rural crime concerns to Police and Crime Commissioner
- ORDER your free livestock worrying sign by calling CallFirst on 0370 845 8458