NFU mutual has released publication that shows a 60% reduction in livestock attacks by dogs during 2019, when compared with 2018 figures. This means that the total loss value has reduced to £15,000 (€18,035).
“It is positive to see that there has been a major decrease in the number of livestock worrying incidents in Northern Ireland. Dog attacks has long been a major issue for UFU members and is an ongoing concern that we have been actively raising awareness of,” said UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt.
Over 1,300 dog owners were surveyed and the findings showed that 95% would put their dog on a lead if they see a sign warning them of livestock nearby, a 5% increase from 2018.
“I am pleased that dog owners are taking the message on board and are being mindful of our local farmers who would be left to deal with the horrendous situation if a livestock attacked occurred,” Chesnutt added.
He commended the work of the stakeholder organisations involved with the Northern Ireland Rural Crime Partnership and Northern Ireland Livestock Worrying Forum.
Work in this area continues
He also thanked local councils and dog wardens who have been ensuring that irresponsible dog owners have been brought before the courts and held accountable for the actions of their dog.
“Work in this area continues as unfortunately there were farmers who did experience a livestock attack last year.
“Therefore I reiterate the message to dog owners, one that has been shared time and time again; it is vital that you keep your dog on a lead when visiting the countryside,” he said.
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