The National Sheep Association (NSA) aims to highlight the devastating issue of dog attacks on sheep or ‘sheep worrying by dogs’ during its week long awareness campaign next month.

As daylight length increases, dog walkers tend to spend more time outdoors, meaning that the chances of dog attacks on livestock from occurring are increases.

As well as that, the spring months are also the peak season for lambing in the UK, which puts vulnerable stock even more at risked of being chased or attacks by dogs.

NSA’s previous work on the issue has demonstrated years of increased reports of dog attacks on sheep, showing the urgent need for action to tackle this crisis that threatens animal welfare, and farmers’ mental wellbeing and livelihoods.

This year (2024), the NSA has sought feedback from police rural crime teams across the country on their experiences of sheep worrying cases, with the aim of highlighting the need for strengthened policy on the issue.

To begin the week of campaign activity, the NSA is now inviting journalists to join NSA chief executive, Phil Stocker, to a talk supported by other members of the NSA team, as he shares the most up-to-date information collected from the police.

NSA campaign

A survey conducted by the NSA on sheep worrying by dogs will launch the ‘2024 Sheep Worrying awareness week’ on Monday, March 25 from 12p.m until 1p.m.

The campaign will include social media activity using the campaign hashtag ‘#LeadOn’, online case studies and content on the NSA website.

The NSA chief executive said: “Farmers are taking what steps they can to protect their flocks including displaying signs, moving sheep to areas with less public access and working with communities via social media but unfortunately, these actions are having little impact in improving the number of sheep worrying incident.”

NSA hopes to use the survey results to continue to raise awareness of these incidents and find ways of improving education, guidance and cooperation with the general public.

If you wish to register to be invited for the launch meeting, please click here.