Prob­lem of dog at­tacks on sheep

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Business Kent Update -

With the lamb­ing sea­son ap­proach­ing and re­ports of dog at­tacks on sheep in­creas­ing, the Na­tional Sheep As­so­ci­a­tion (NSA) and RSPCA have teamed up to urge dog own­ers to take ex­tra care.

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, said: “A grow­ing num­ber of our mem­bers con­tinue to tell us 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 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.”

Both the NSA and RSPCA say there is a very sim­ple way to stop th­ese at­tacks – keep your dog on a lead around live­stock.

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