DNA Database to Combat Livestock Worrying.

The numbers of owners that allow their dogs to worry livestock in the UK are quite alarming. The National Chiefs’ Council’s working group on livestock worrying, found that the cost to British farmers in 2016, was 1.4 million pounds.  In 2016, a total of 15,000 sheep were killed by dogs. In the majority of these cases, the dog was not on the lead, or anywhere near its owner.

As a result, they are pressing for an easier way to identify canine culprits via a DNA database. Police want more power to enter people’s homes and confiscate dogs responsible for repeat attacks. They also want to force new measures that will make it law for owners to keep their dogs on leads near livestock.

The working group has collated data which shows that livestock worrying is a very real problem which has a significant impact on the lives of farmers across the UK.  The police urge owners to keep dogs on leads near livestock and to make sure they cannot escape from gardens. This is especially crucial where properties adjoin rural pastures containing livestock.

It is hoped that canine DNA databases can also help to crack down on dog fouling offences. Last year, Dagenham council set up a pilot scheme to catch owners who fail to pick up after their dogs. Registering dogs was voluntary. However, council members wanted to discover whether those who did not want to register their dogs, were more likely to allow their dogs to foul. By gathering information on responsible owners, the council hoped to clamp down on irresponsible owners at a later stage.

The animal welfare minister Lord Gardiner will be looking into these recommendations and Holidays4Dogs will keep a close eye out for any future outcomes.