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Keep dogs under control to protect livestock - Farron

February 14, 2017 12:07 PM

South Lakeland MP Tim Farron is urging dog owners to keep their pets under control to protect livestock, as the cost of dog attacks reported to leading rural insurer NFU Mutual is revealed to have increased by over 50% in 2016.

There were more than 1000 reports of sheep and cattle worrying on farms in 2016, which NFU Mutual estimates cost the industry £1.4million last year. Between January and April, when pregnant ewes and lambs are often grazing on low-lying pasture in areas more accessible to walkers, the cost of claims more than doubled. The average cost of a claim rose by nearly £500 to just over £1300.

Tim is backing NFU Mutual's call for dog owners to keep their pets on leads and under control when in areas with livestock, and to report sightings of out of control dogs.

Tim said: "Our area has some of the country's most beautiful countryside, and as a dog owner I love getting out and walking in our area. However, it is vital for dog owners to remember that farmers' livelihoods depend on the wellbeing of their livestock. I would urge all dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead and under control when in an area with livestock, particularly as we approach the lambing season."