The latest sheep worrying by dogs campaign from the National Sheep Association (NSA) aims to improve awareness of the threat dogs pose to livestock.

The issue of sheep worrying by dogs continues to be a major cause for concern for farmers, often leading to serious welfare implications for livestock including stress and injury and financial losses for farmers.

To raise awareness NSA has for many years highlighted its severity in a week long annual campaign, timed to coincide with the arrival of spring, a time synonymous with fields full of ewes and young lambs, but a time that also traditionally sees a spike in cases of sheep worrying attacks.

NSA Project Manager Nicola Noble, who leads NSA sheep worrying awareness activity, said: “Over recent years NSA has worked with the police on this issue and so this year it made sense to delve further into this during our annual campaign week and ask rural crime teams to share their experiences of sheep worrying attacks with us in our annual survey.

“This year’s survey has shown that 78 per cent of rural crime teams reported an increase in dog attacks on sheep over recent years.

“Seventy-six per-cent of the forces reported that they respond to sheep worrying by dog incidents at least once a month, with 33 per cent of them dealing with incidents on a weekly basis.”