Police step up patrols over Bank Holiday weekend to protect livestock from dog attacks

Police in North Yorkshire have stepped up patrols in rural areas this weekend in a bid to keep livestock safe from being attacked by dogs.

There have already been 12 'sheep worrying' incidents in North Yorkshire so far this year, with every single district in the county reporting at least one dog attack on livestock. Half of these were reported in April.

It comes as more people are expected to travel to the countryside with their dogs in light of Covid-19 restrictions easing.

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North Yorkshire Police's rural taskforce and neighbourhood policing teams will be speaking to farmers to reassure them and also offering advice to dog owners, emphasising the devastating consequences of dog attacks on sheep. Officers will also be supplying farmers with posters to put up on gates near livestock fields.

Police will be warning dog owners about the devastating effects of attacks on livestock

PCSO Matt Cockerill, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force, said: “My colleagues and I have seen first-hand the awful impact of dog attacks on livestock. It’s deeply distressing for farmers to find dead or dying animals, sometimes suffering from horrific injuries – not to mention the financial impact on their livelihoods.

Want more farming and rural news? Join our dedicated Facebook group.“The truth is, any dog – regardless of how well-behaved they normally are – can very quickly get out of control around livestock. And even a dog just chasing a sheep can cause miscarriages of lambs in pregnant ewes.

“I want people to understand how important it is for the safety and welfare of livestock, and the dogs themselves, that owners keep their pets under control at all times. Otherwise, the consequences could be devastating for all parties involved.”