A livestock attack in Tavistock, near Devon, which resulted in the death of 43 sheep, is currently under investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Agriland can confirm that police are investigating reports of 19 ewes and 24 lambs having been killed overnight on Sunday, February 4.

The sheep were believed to have been attacked by a dog or dogs.

Prevention of livestock attacks

In a big to prevent tragedies alike the Tavistock attack, The National Sheep Association (NSA) is welcoming steps taken toward more extreme punishments for dog attacks on livestock this week, following full government support being given to tackle the issue.

Subsequently, following the updated legislation of the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) Bill, police will now be given increased powers to respond to livestock attack incidents with more severity.

The updated legislation will enable the police to easily collect evidence, and in the most severe cases, seize and detain dogs to reduce the risk of further attacks on livestock.

NSA chief executive, Phil Stocker said: “Sheep worrying by dogs has a devastating impact on livestock across the country, and so it is fantastic news that the updated Bill has been approved and will help increase powers to protect livestock.

“The bill addresses issues identified with a lack of police powers, relating to gaining evidence, detaining, and gaining entry to property where responsible dog owners and their animals reside.

“The bill will include also extending the landscape covered where attacks on livestock can be considered a crime to include roads and paths.”

NSA project manager, Nicola Noble, has highlighted the frustration and upset felt by farmers who have experienced attacks on their livestock.

Noble said: “Hard work, time and investment can be undone in one irresponsible action, completely out of our control.

“The bill won’t be an immediate fix for resolving the problem, but will provide the police with more powers to achieve an agreeable solution when a sheep attack occurs and empower farmers to take back some of that lost control.”