More than £1MILLION worth of livestock has been attacked by dogs in South West since 2015

PUBLISHED: 11:23 25 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:34 25 February 2019

Livestock worth more than £1million has been attacked by dogs in the South West in the last four years. Picture: Getty

Livestock worth more than £1million has been attacked by dogs in the South West in the last four years. Picture: Getty

ZELENENKYY YURIY

More than £1million worth of livestock in South West has been attacked by dogs in the last four years, shocking new figures have revealed.

Sheep attacked in Exmouth in January 2017. Picture: Wendy PringSheep attacked in Exmouth in January 2017. Picture: Wendy Pring

More than £1million worth of livestock in South West has been attacked by dogs in the last four years, shocking new figures have revealed.

The peak time for attacks is between January and April – which is during the new lambing period.

Rural insurer NFU Mutual is now launching a new campaign urging dog owners to keep their pets under control, as horrific attacks on sheep and other livestock continue to take their toll on South West farmers.

In January 2016, the Journal spoke to a distraught farming couple Alan and Wendy Pring, after a dog killed one of their sheep and injured others.

Mr Pring discovered the grisly scene in a shed during lambing season.

Speaking at the time, Mrs Pring said: “Alan went out at about 7am because we are lambing and the sheep, which usually go straight to him, ran away.

“There was one dead in the shed and another was injured.”

Figures compiled by NFU Mutual revealed that farm animals worth £1.09million have been savaged by dogs in the South West over the past four years.

The South West was the worst affected region of England by cost from 2015 to 2018.

Chris Roberts, NFU Mutual’s manager for the South West, said: “While it’s encouraging news that more people are putting their dog on the lead while out in the countryside, dog attacks are still at a very high level.

“We are receiving increasing reports of local dogs escaping from homes and attacking sheep, either because their owners do not know or do not care that their dogs are roaming wild and causing havoc.

“Thousands of sheep are being killed and horribly mutilated by dogs and we will be redoubling our efforts to raise awareness of the issue, and helping police to bring owners of dogs which attack livestock to justice.

“We are sadly all too aware of the heartbreak and distress that dog attacks cause.

“For South West small farmers in particular, livestock worrying is devastating because it has a huge impact on their livelihood.

“While insurance can cover the cost of replacing stock killed and the treatment of injured animals, there is a knock-on effect on breeding programmes that can take years to overcome.”

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