The National Sheep Association (NSA) is urging sheep farmers who experience sheep worrying by dogs within their flocks to share their views via a short online survey.
As cases of dog worrying continue to be reported, NSA is repeating its annual survey to establish a more accurate and up-to-date picture of the problem.
The issue of sheep worrying by dogs continues to be a real concern for sheep farmers across the UK. Recent media coverage of the problem may have raised awareness but this has not necessarily translated into a reduction in cases of dog attacks.Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive
This year the questions concentrate on positive and negative ways to influence dog owner behaviour, the results from which will be invaluable to NSA’s work to keep the subject fresh in the minds of people enjoying the British countryside with their pets.
Last year’s survey focused on the human impact of dog attacks, finding 85% of affected farmers experienced stress and 78% were worried about future attacks.
Around 46% experienced feelings of anxiety about spending time away from their farm and 24% had even considered giving up keeping sheep.
Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive, says: “The issue of sheep worrying by dogs continues to be a real concern for sheep farmers across the UK. Recent media coverage of the problem may have raised awareness but this has not necessarily translated into a reduction in cases of dog attacks.
“This survey will enable NSA to identify further methods to help dog owners enjoy the countryside responsibly and ultimately improve the situation for sheep farmers. We urge all affected sheep farmers to spare a few minutes to share their views, as it is invaluable to our work.”
Farmers wishing to volunteer as a case study to share their experiences should contact NSA. Participants are assured all individual information will be kept anonymous.