The Take the Lead campaign aims to raise the profile of livestock worrying by dogs among the public

FG figures revealed there were more than 2,000 attacks by dogs in 2013 and 2014 and a survey of 580 National Sheep Association members revealed 58 per cent saw sheep worrying as a ‘persistent problem’.

FUW senior policy officer Dr Hazel Wright said: “Increased numbers of sheep worrying incidents remain a major concern for the industry and we are pleased to pledge our continued support to the campaign.

“The union is appealing to all dog owners to ensure that they keep their dogs on their leads whenever they see livestock in the same field as their dogs, even though that may be on the side of a mountain where the animals maybe a long way away.

“We will do our utmost to highlight the need for responsible dog ownership amongst the farming and non-farming community. Farmers are continuously being inspected to ensure that they look after their animals in an appropriate manner, whilst some owners of dogs let their pets run freely and totally out of control.”

FUW is calling on people to keep their dogs on a lead when they walk in the countryside and is encouraging farmers to display the Take the Lead campaign signs on their farms.

“Sheep, lambs, cattle and horses have been attacked, ewes are aborting due to the stress caused by being chased and some animals are even dying of exhaustion,” added Dr Wright.

“This can all be prevented through responsible dog ownership and taking the countryside code of conduct into account.”

(Information taken from Farmers Guardian Limited website