Support for ‘Take the Lead’ campaign

THE FUW renewed its support during the Royal Welsh Show for the Farmers Guardian’s “Take the Lead” campaign launched in spring 2014 to raise the profile of livestock worrying by dogs. “An increase in sheep worrying incidents remains a major concern for the industry and we are pleased to pledge our continued support to the campaign,” said FUW senior policy officer Hazel Wright. “The public needs to be aware of how dangerous their pets can be to livestock if they are being chased or, even worse, attacked by dogs on the loose. “Alongside animal injury and mortality, livestock worrying can also cause grazing parcels to be lost, if sheep are too stressed to return to the land,” she added. According to figures revealed by the Farmers Guardian there were more than 1,000 attacks by dogs in 2013, up from 691 in 2011, and a survey of 580 National Sheep Association members revealed 58 per cent see sheep worrying as a “persistent problem”, with 63 per cent of attacks resulting in “invisible” injuries such as stress and abortion. “We will do our utmost to highlight the need for responsible dog ownership amongst the farming TAKING THE LEAD: Hazel Wright with Farmers Guardian news and business editor Ben Briggs. and non-farming community,” said Dr Wright. “Farmers are continuously being inspected to ensure that they look after their animals in an appropriate manner, whilst some owners of dogs let their pets run freely and totally out of control. The union is appealing to all dog owners to ensure that they keep their dogs on their leads whenever they see livestock in the same field as their dogs, even though that may be on the side of a mountain where the animals maybe a long way away,” added Dr Wright. The FUW is calling on people to keep their dogs on a lead when they walk in the countryside and is encouraging farmers to use the “Take the Lead” campaign sign and display it on their farms. “Sheep, lambs, cattle and horses have been attacked, ewes are aborting due to the stress caused by being chased and some animals are even dying of exhaustion. “This can all be prevented through responsible dog ownership and taking the countryside code of conduct into account,” said Dr Wright

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