Issues vary farm-to-farm but there are some that anger and unite – livestock worrying by dogs if one of these major problems common to many.
So serious is the issue that NFU Mutual revealed the cost of dog attacks on farm animals in the Midlands was estimated at more than £220,000 last year, driven by the pandemic and a surge in pet ownership and countryside visitors. Nationally it has just been revealed that police dealt with more than 1,100 sheep-worrying incidents in 2020, up from 800 in 2019.
More needs to be done and the NFU regional team is busy working with Shropshire farmers and West Mercia Police to warn pet owners about the damage their dogs can do to livestock. We have also produced footpath signs, working with the Kennel Club, which encourages responsible dog ownership, and a Countryside Code gatepost sign is also available.
Details can be found in the rural affairs section of www.nfuonline.com and a video about livestock worrying, with "The Dog Father" Graeme Hall, is at www.facebook.com/NFUOnline/videos online.
Oliver Cartwright is NFU West Midlands communications adviser