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  • Writer's pictureNikki Latham

Rural Crime Team supports ‘Op Recall’ to help prevent livestock attacks in Dorset

Between 27 March and 2 April, Dorset Police supported Op Recall - a national operation launched by Cheshire Police, the RSPCA and Naturewatch Foundation which aims to raise awareness of the impact of livestock worrying, and prevent future livestock attacks.

Between 2018 and 2022, Dorset Police received 240 reports of livestock worrying offences, which saw many sheep killed or injured. 

A report from the National Farmers’ Union released in February 2024, confirmed that dog attacks on livestock throughout the UK were estimated to cost £2.4 million last year, up nearly 30% compared to the previous year. The report stated that South West region was the worst-hit region, with attacks estimated to have cost £359,000.

To raise awareness about the consequences of livestock attacks, Dorset Police’s Rural Crime will be out across the county throughout the week, engaging with the public to provide advice on how to prevent and reduce livestock attacks.

Sgt. Natalie Skinner, of the Rural Crime Team at Dorset Police, said: “We’re fortunate to live in a beautiful area of the country and we expect lots of people will be out with their dogs over the bank holiday weekend.
“Whilst most dog owners are responsible, we know that accidents can happen, and even the most obedient dogs can get distracted and excited by grazing animals, which may lead to an attack.
“Livestock worrying can have serious consequences so, if you’re going to be walking your dog in an open space, please make sure your dog is under effective control, especially around livestock.”

Livestock worrying is a criminal offence. Dog owners are reminded that farmers have the right to take appropriate action to protect their livestock from attacks.

If your dog is involved in an attack, please report it to the police immediately so that the animals can get the medical attention they need. It is likely that the incident can then be resolved out of court.

Information relating to attacks on livestock that are not currently happening should be reported to the police online or by calling 101. Anonymous information can also be provided to CrimeStoppers online or by calling 0800 555 111. Always call 999 in an emergency.

This news story has been produced by Chesil Radio's News Team, for more information please visit:

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