With the lambing season approaching and reports of dog attacks on sheep increasing, dog owners are being urged to take extra care.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) and SSPCA have teamed up to issue a joint plea to dog owners to be more responsible.
Every year sheep are killed, maimed and miscarry because of being chased and attacked by dogs.
This is a serious animal welfare concern and also caused a great deal of emotional stress and financial cost to sheep farmers around the country.
Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive, says: “A growing number of our members continue to give us reports of some horrendous attacks they have suffered to their livestock.
“It is not only the harrowing injuries which out of control dogs have inflicted, but also the losses they have suffered as a result of dogs simply chasing livestock.
“The risk of heavily pregnant ewes aborting is extremely high after suffering the stress of having been chased by dogs, not to mention the risk of young lambs becoming separated from their mother at a critical early bonding stage.
“Lambs will die from starvation or hypothermia when they become separated from their mother and fail to find her again.”
NSA has been collecting evidence of sheep worrying incidents for several years now, with case after case highlighting the damage a pet can inflict when it is left unsupervised.
Both NSA and SSPCA want to reiterate to dog owners that there is there is a very simple way to stop these attacks – keep your dog on a lead around livestock.
NSA can supply sheep farming members with free hardwearing plastic dog control signs.