Posted: Wed 29th Nov 2017

Call for ‘tighter laws’ as report reveals over 1000 animals killed or injured in North Wales from attacks

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Nov 29th, 2017

Delyn MP David Hanson has called upon the UK Government to tighten laws around livestock worrying in bid to stop horrific dog attacks.

An All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Animal Welfare which Mr Hanson is a member of, published a report recently called ‘Tackling livestock worrying and encouraging responsible dog ownership’

The report found responsible dog ownership through the management of dogs and reducing high-risk behaviour around livestock should be the primary focus in ending livestock attacks.

Livestock attacks place a major financial burden on farmers in Flintshire yet the scale of the problem is hard to measure due to a lack of data.

One recommendation in the report is for “all incidents, crimes and outcomes are recorded and shared nationally”

North Wales Police rural crime team was set up 2013 and is seen as a benchmark for many of forces in Wales and England.

The team faced an enormous challenge of conducting a data trawl which included overcoming difficulties of locating related incidents amongst all recorded police incidents over a four-year period, they found;

Police in the region had recorded 449 livestock attacks resulting in the death of 648 animals, 376 were injured and 52 dogs shot, in 89% of the cases owners weren’t present when their dogs attacked.

David Hanson MP has been working with the constabulary to ensure that the loopholes in the law are tightened so that livestock are protected and those who allow their animals to commit the attacks are held responsible.

In addition to this, Mr. Hanson recently wrote to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, requesting that the Government tighten the laws surrounding livestock worrying.

APPG’s report says the ‘Home Office should recognize that livestock worrying is a national social and economic issue which requires accurate statistics to be collected and guidance to be provided to police and should look to make livestock worrying a recordable crime to ensure more accurate records.’

The report also says; ‘Many incidents of worrying and attacks occur when owners are not present, all dog owners need to accept that their dog should never be unaccompanied outside of their home.

Owners should also understand their responsibility to ensure that wherever dogs are kept, including their houses and gardens, they are secure so that their dogs cannot escape and cause problems.’

Mr. Hanson recently wrote to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, requesting that the Government tighten the laws surrounding livestock worrying.

David Hanson MP said:

“Livestock attacks result in a huge financial burden for our pastoral farmers in Delyn.

The law, as it stands, does not put in the protections for them and in some cases sees farmers losing out as the maximum fine that can be imposed is £1,000.

The cost of destroying an animal can be £150 meaning that a lost flock will cost far and above the maximum fine.

“Awareness also needs to be raised on responsible dog ownership around livestock and North Wales Police have been taking measures to ensure that this happens.

But this needs the support of the UK Government so that they can effectively police the situation.

We need to have in place laws that empower our police to secure farmers property and stop these horrific attacks.

“The All Party Group will continue to work on this matter and will be waiting eagerly for the Government’s response.”

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