Number of livestock attacks 'more than doubles' in last year

New figures suggest the number of livestock attacks in Wales more than doubled in the last year.

Rural insurer NFU Mutual suggests £285,000 worth of damage was caused by out-of-control dogs attacking sheep, cows, and other livestock animals.

The insurer is urging owners to keep their dogs under control while on walks, though new research suggests many attacks are being caused by dogs which have been let out in gardens, escaping and attacking sheep in neighbouring fields.

According to the findings, peak time for attacks is January - April, during the lambing period.

The figures revealed 87% of dog owners exercise their pets in the countryside, with over 60% letting them roam off the lead.

If there is a sign warning dog owners that livestock are in a field, more people (95%) are putting their dogs on the lead - up from 90% in 2018.

The figures suggest more people are putting their dogs on leads. Credit: PA

Merfyn Roberts from NFU Mutual, North Wales said the increase in people putting their dog on the lead was "encouraging news".

North Wales Police have a dedicated rural crimes team. PC Dave Allen says livestock attacks are "devastating affairs" for all involved.

In answer to how the problem can be resolved, three quarters of dog owners said they would support heavy fines.

Read more:

Nearly 500 attacks recorded on livestock by dogs in North Wales

NFU warns dogs owners to control their pets as the number of cases of livestock worrying rockets in Wales