Own­ers warned to keep dogs un­der con­trol

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Business Kent Update -

Dog own­ers are be­ing warned to keep their pets un­der con­trol in the coun­try­side as the cost of in­sur­ance claims from live­stock wor­ry­ing has reached a record level.

New fig­ures show the cost of dog at­tacks on live­stock re­ported to lead­ing ru­ral in­surer NFU Mu­tual rose by nearly 50% cent across the UK in 2016.

Be­tween Jan­uary and April, when preg­nant ewes and lambs are of­ten graz­ing on low-ly­ing pas­ture in ar­eas more ac­ces­si­ble to walk­ers, the cost of claims more than dou­bled.

With many fam­i­lies ex­pected to visit the coun­try­side dur­ing the Easter hol­i­days, NFU Mu­tual is urg­ing peo­ple to keep their dogs on a lead at all times. Farm­ers have the right to shoot dogs if they are chas­ing sheep or cat­tle.

Tim Price, ru­ral af­fairs spe­cial­ist at NFU Mu­tual, said: “It’s not just big, ag­gres­sive-look­ing dogs that at­tack live­stock – well- be­haved fam­ily pets can worry sheep or cat­tle. And once a dog has at­tacked live­stock, there is a high prob­a­bil­ity that it will strike again.

“Dog own­ers need to be es­pe­cially care­ful at this time of year when they’re out for their usual walk, as there may be a flock of sheep on their route, which wasn’t there yes­ter­day.

“We are sadly all too aware of the heart­break and huge fi­nan­cial loss that dog at­tacks cause. ”

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