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FUW demands dog attack action

 
Created on 21/06/2019 @ 08:59
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Recent dog attacks in Wales have prompted the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) to call for stronger action to be taken against owners.

High profile attacks have resulted in little or no action being taken, but enough is enough for the FUW who want stronger laws to be introduced.

“The only solution to the problem is to tackle dog attacks in the way that North Wales police have, setting up a dedicated unit to police the rural parts of every county. In addition, the FUW is reminding dog owners of its ‘Your Dog, Your Responsibility’ campaign,” said Dr Hazel Wright, FUW senior policy officer.

She points to North Wales Police and their Rural team, the only force to maintain records and statistics, which show that 89% of all dog attacks on livestock happen when they stray from home.

“As the law stands currently there is very little that can be done to recompense the farmer or ensure that the dog involved is prevented from re-offending, and it is these people we want to target.

“The FUW believes introducing new laws, which will act as a powerful deterrent to prevent dog owners allowing their animals to stray,” said Dr Wright.

There were 449 cases of livestock attacks between 2013-2017 in North Wales alone, but there continues to be under reporting by farmers due to a lack of confidence in police and legal system. No records are kept for Mid Wales.

Approximately 15,000 sheep were killed by dogs in 2016. At £75 per carcase, a loss of £1.3 million. Other losses include abortions, loss of breeding stock and the cost of veterinary bills.

“52 dogs have been shot attacking livestock in North Wales in the past four years, a tragedy for the farmer whose stock has been killed, but also for the dog owner who loses the family pet when it is put down,” said Dr Wright. “No farmer wants any animal to be killed needlessly, and the lack of substantive legal action means that there is no real deterrent for the dog owner. Only four main pieces of law cover livestock attacks, all are antiquated and do not fit with current agricultural practices or the seriousness of the offence.

“It appears education alone cannot solve this complex issue, but hopefully changes in legislation to ensure the seriousness of this offence is understood, can give Welsh and English police the powers to properly deal with offenders and provide a deterrent which means that less stock and fewer family pets are lost,” Dr Wright added.

The FUW wants:

·      Mandatory recording of dog attacks on livestock by all Welsh police forces

·      Changes to the current limited and outdated fines - currently a maximum non-imprisonable offence with a maximum fine of up to £1,000

·      Fines levied on offenders should be proportionate and should allow for full compensation

·      Police forces granted the power to obtain DNA samples from suspect dogs

·      Powers to confiscate dogs

·      Legal responsibility for dog owner to report attack to prevent badly injured sheep being left to suffer

·      Failure to report an attack should be an offence

·      Power to ban an owner from owning another dog

·      Powers of dog destruction after conviction with the 1953 act

Other proposals include a change to the definition of ‘arable land’ as attacks are only enforceable on arable land and if a farmer is moving sheep between fields on a public highway legislation isn’t valid.

They believe a wider definition of ‘livestock’ is also needed as certain animals, such as deer, llamas and alpacas, are not covered by the 1953 act. There also needs to be a proper definition of ‘under close control’ as it applies to dogs being walked near livestock.


Recent dog attacks in Wales have prompted the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) to call for stronger action to be taken against owners.

High profile attacks have resulted in little or no action being taken, but enough is enough for the FUW who want stronger laws to be introduced.

“The only solution to the problem is to tackle dog attacks in the way that North Wales police have, setting up a dedicated unit to police the rural parts of every county. In addition, the FUW is reminding dog owners of its ‘Your Dog, Your Responsibility’ campaign,” said Dr Hazel Wright, FUW senior policy officer.

She points to North Wales Police and their Rural team, the only force to maintain records and statistics, which show that 89% of all dog attacks on livestock happen when they stray from home.

“As the law stands currently there is very little that can be done to recompense the farmer or ensure that the dog involved is prevented from re-offending, and it is these people we want to target.

“The FUW believes introducing new laws, which will act as a powerful deterrent to prevent dog owners allowing their animals to stray,” said Dr Wright.

There were 449 cases of livestock attacks between 2013-2017 in North Wales alone, but there continues to be under reporting by farmers due to a lack of confidence in police and legal system. No records are kept for Mid Wales.

Approximately 15,000 sheep were killed by dogs in 2016. At £75 per carcase, a loss of £1.3 million. Other losses include abortions, loss of breeding stock and the cost of veterinary bills.

“52 dogs have been shot attacking livestock in North Wales in the past four years, a tragedy for the farmer whose stock has been killed, but also for the dog owner who loses the family pet when it is put down,” said Dr Wright. “No farmer wants any animal to be killed needlessly, and the lack of substantive legal action means that there is no real deterrent for the dog owner. Only four main pieces of law cover livestock attacks, all are antiquated and do not fit with current agricultural practices or the seriousness of the offence.

“It appears education alone cannot solve this complex issue, but hopefully changes in legislation to ensure the seriousness of this offence is understood, can give Welsh and English police the powers to properly deal with offenders and provide a deterrent which means that less stock and fewer family pets are lost,” Dr Wright added.

The FUW wants:

·      Mandatory recording of dog attacks on livestock by all Welsh police forces

·      Changes to the current limited and outdated fines - currently a maximum non-imprisonable offence with a maximum fine of up to £1,000

·      Fines levied on offenders should be proportionate and should allow for full compensation

·      Police forces granted the power to obtain DNA samples from suspect dogs

·      Powers to confiscate dogs

·      Legal responsibility for dog owner to report attack to prevent badly injured sheep being left to suffer

·      Failure to report an attack should be an offence

·      Power to ban an owner from owning another dog

·      Powers of dog destruction after conviction with the 1953 act

Other proposals include a change to the definition of ‘arable land’ as attacks are only enforceable on arable land and if a farmer is moving sheep between fields on a public highway legislation isn’t valid.

They believe a wider definition of ‘livestock’ is also needed as certain animals, such as deer, llamas and alpacas, are not covered by the 1953 act. There also needs to be a proper definition of ‘under close control’ as it applies to dogs being walked near livestock.

Recent dog attacks in Wales have prompted the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) to call for stronger action to be taken against owners.

High profile attacks have resulted in little or no action being taken, but enough is enough for the FUW who want stronger laws to be introduced.

“The only solution to the problem is to tackle dog attacks in the way that North Wales police have, setting up a dedicated unit to police the rural parts of every county. In addition, the FUW is reminding dog owners of its ‘Your Dog, Your Responsibility’ campaign,” said Dr Hazel Wright, FUW senior policy officer.

She points to North Wales Police and their Rural team, the only force to maintain records and statistics, which show that 89% of all dog attacks on livestock happen when they stray from home.

“As the law stands currently there is very little that can be done to recompense the farmer or ensure that the dog involved is prevented from re-offending, and it is these people we want to target.

“The FUW believes introducing new laws, which will act as a powerful deterrent to prevent dog owners allowing their animals to stray,” said Dr Wright.

There were 449 cases of livestock attacks between 2013-2017 in North Wales alone, but there continues to be under reporting by farmers due to a lack of confidence in police and legal system. No records are kept for Mid Wales.

Approximately 15,000 sheep were killed by dogs in 2016. At £75 per carcase, a loss of £1.3 million. Other losses include abortions, loss of breeding stock and the cost of veterinary bills.

“52 dogs have been shot attacking livestock in North Wales in the past four years, a tragedy for the farmer whose stock has been killed, but also for the dog owner who loses the family pet when it is put down,” said Dr Wright. “No farmer wants any animal to be killed needlessly, and the lack of substantive legal action means that there is no real deterrent for the dog owner. Only four main pieces of law cover livestock attacks, all are antiquated and do not fit with current agricultural practices or the seriousness of the offence.

“It appears education alone cannot solve this complex issue, but hopefully changes in legislation to ensure the seriousness of this offence is understood, can give Welsh and English police the powers to properly deal with offenders and provide a deterrent which means that less stock and fewer family pets are lost,” Dr Wright added.

The FUW wants:

·      Mandatory recording of dog attacks on livestock by all Welsh police forces

·      Changes to the current limited and outdated fines - currently a maximum non-imprisonable offence with a maximum fine of up to £1,000

·      Fines levied on offenders should be proportionate and should allow for full compensation

·      Police forces granted the power to obtain DNA samples from suspect dogs

·      Powers to confiscate dogs

·      Legal responsibility for dog owner to report attack to prevent badly injured sheep being left to suffer

·      Failure to report an attack should be an offence

·      Power to ban an owner from owning another dog

·      Powers of dog destruction after conviction with the 1953 act

Other proposals include a change to the definition of ‘arable land’ as attacks are only enforceable on arable land and if a farmer is moving sheep between fields on a public highway legislation isn’t valid.

They believe a wider definition of ‘livestock’ is also needed as certain animals, such as deer, llamas and alpacas, are not covered by the 1953 act. There also needs to be a proper definition of ‘under close control’ as it applies to dogs being walked near livestock.

Recent dog attacks in Wales have prompted the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) to call for stronger action to be taken against owners.

High profile attacks have resulted in little or no action being taken, but enough is enough for the FUW who want stronger laws to be introduced.

“The only solution to the problem is to tackle dog attacks in the way that North Wales police have, setting up a dedicated unit to police the rural parts of every county. In addition, the FUW is reminding dog owners of its ‘Your Dog, Your Responsibility’ campaign,” said Dr Hazel Wright, FUW senior policy officer.

She points to North Wales Police and their Rural team, the only force to maintain records and statistics, which show that 89% of all dog attacks on livestock happen when they stray from home.

“As the law stands currently there is very little that can be done to recompense the farmer or ensure that the dog involved is prevented from re-offending, and it is these people we want to target.

“The FUW believes introducing new laws, which will act as a powerful deterrent to prevent dog owners allowing their animals to stray,” said Dr Wright.

There were 449 cases of livestock attacks between 2013-2017 in North Wales alone, but there continues to be under reporting by farmers due to a lack of confidence in police and legal system. No records are kept for Mid Wales.

Approximately 15,000 sheep were killed by dogs in 2016. At £75 per carcase, a loss of £1.3 million. Other losses include abortions, loss of breeding stock and the cost of veterinary bills.

“52 dogs have been shot attacking livestock in North Wales in the past four years, a tragedy for the farmer whose stock has been killed, but also for the dog owner who loses the family pet when it is put down,” said Dr Wright. “No farmer wants any animal to be killed needlessly, and the lack of substantive legal action means that there is no real deterrent for the dog owner. Only four main pieces of law cover livestock attacks, all are antiquated and do not fit with current agricultural practices or the seriousness of the offence.

“It appears education alone cannot solve this complex issue, but hopefully changes in legislation to ensure the seriousness of this offence is understood, can give Welsh and English police the powers to properly deal with offenders and provide a deterrent which means that less stock and fewer family pets are lost,” Dr Wright added.

The FUW wants:

·      Mandatory recording of dog attacks on livestock by all Welsh police forces

·      Changes to the current limited and outdated fines - currently a maximum non-imprisonable offence with a maximum fine of up to £1,000

·      Fines levied on offenders should be proportionate and should allow for full compensation

·      Police forces granted the power to obtain DNA samples from suspect dogs

·      Powers to confiscate dogs

·      Legal responsibility for dog owner to report attack to prevent badly injured sheep being left to suffer

·      Failure to report an attack should be an offence

·      Power to ban an owner from owning another dog

·      Powers of dog destruction after conviction with the 1953 act

Other proposals include a change to the definition of ‘arable land’ as attacks are only enforceable on arable land and if a farmer is moving sheep between fields on a public highway legislation isn’t valid.

They believe a wider definition of ‘livestock’ is also needed as certain animals, such as deer, llamas and alpacas, are not covered by the 1953 act. There also needs to be a proper definition of ‘under close control’ as it applies to dogs being walked near livestock

Recent dog attacks in Wales have prompted the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) to call for stronger action to be taken against owners.

High profile attacks have resulted in little or no action being taken, but enough is enough for the FUW who want stronger laws to be introduced.

“The only solution to the problem is to tackle dog attacks in the way that North Wales police have, setting up a dedicated unit to police the rural parts of every county. In addition, the FUW is reminding dog owners of its ‘Your Dog, Your Responsibility’ campaign,” said Dr Hazel Wright, FUW senior policy officer.

She points to North Wales Police and their Rural team, the only force to maintain records and statistics, which show that 89% of all dog attacks on livestock happen when they stray from home.

“As the law stands currently there is very little that can be done to recompense the farmer or ensure that the dog involved is prevented from re-offending, and it is these people we want to target.

“The FUW believes introducing new laws, which will act as a powerful deterrent to prevent dog owners allowing their animals to stray,” said Dr Wright.

There were 449 cases of livestock attacks between 2013-2017 in North Wales alone, but there continues to be under reporting by farmers due to a lack of confidence in police and legal system. No records are kept for Mid Wales.

Approximately 15,000 sheep were killed by dogs in 2016. At £75 per carcase, a loss of £1.3 million. Other losses include abortions, loss of breeding stock and the cost of veterinary bills.

“52 dogs have been shot attacking livestock in North Wales in the past four years, a tragedy for the farmer whose stock has been killed, but also for the dog owner who loses the family pet when it is put down,” said Dr Wright. “No farmer wants any animal to be killed needlessly, and the lack of substantive legal action means that there is no real deterrent for the dog owner. Only four main pieces of law cover livestock attacks, all are antiquated and do not fit with current agricultural practices or the seriousness of the offence.

“It appears education alone cannot solve this complex issue, but hopefully changes in legislation to ensure the seriousness of this offence is understood, can give Welsh and English police the powers to properly deal with offenders and provide a deterrent which means that less stock and fewer family pets are lost,” Dr Wright added.

The FUW wants:

·      Mandatory recording of dog attacks on livestock by all Welsh police forces

·      Changes to the current limited and outdated fines - currently a maximum non-imprisonable offence with a maximum fine of up to £1,000

·      Fines levied on offenders should be proportionate and should allow for full compensation

·      Police forces granted the power to obtain DNA samples from suspect dogs

·      Powers to confiscate dogs

·      Legal responsibility for dog owner to report attack to prevent badly injured sheep being left to suffer

·      Failure to report an attack should be an offence

·      Power to ban an owner from owning another dog

·      Powers of dog destruction after conviction with the 1953 act

Other proposals include a change to the definition of ‘arable land’ as attacks are only enforceable on arable land and if a farmer is moving sheep between fields on a public highway legislation isn’t valid.

They believe a wider definition of ‘livestock’ is also needed as certain animals, such as deer, llamas and alpacas, are not covered by the 1953 act. There also needs to be a proper definition of ‘under close control’ as it applies to dogs being walked near livestock.

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