The NFU is urging local authorities to take measures to prevent livestock worrying, with dog attacks becoming a growing concern for farmers.
A report released yesterday by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) showed that dog attacks on livestock cost the farming sector £1.3 million last year, and it recommends multiple ways to reduce livestock worrying.
The report states that Government must recognise that livestock worrying is a national social and economic issue, and it encourages farmers to report all attacks and worrying to the police.
The NFU also calls on local authorities to improve the consistency of their response, to collect accurate statistics and to provide public guidance about preventing further incidents.
NFU livestock board chairman and livestock farmer Charles Sercombe said: “Livestock worrying and dog attacks have a massive impact on farmers, both financially and emotionally.
“Farmers look after over 70% of the UK’s countryside and many public footpaths go through our land, so it’s vital that we establish measures to ensure both livestock and dogs are kept safe.
“Livestock worrying needs to be treated as a recordable crime; dog owners must be given consistent information and act accordingly, farmers must report all incidents and the police must take them seriously.
“We understand that owners must exercise their dogs, but measures need to be taken to prevent unnecessary suffering for our livestock.”