Ynys Môn MP Virginia Crosbie is supporting calls for upgraded legislation to better protect the island’s livestock from dog attacks.
Virginia has talked with North Wales Police, local farmers, the National Farmers’ Union, Farmers’ Union of Wales and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse over amending the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 with tougher powers.
Under the 68-year-old law, a convicted dog owner can only be fined £1000 with farmers, who may have lost much more, having to then sue for compensation.
Hundreds of animals – particularly sheep – have been killed in recent years in North Wales after being chased and attacked by dogs.
Virginia wants the improved legislation to include mandatory recording of dog attacks on livestock by all police forces, full compensation for farmers and the ability for police forces to obtain DNA from suspect dogs.
“The loss of livestock from dog attack is devastating both emotionally and financially for farmers and I think it’s time this legislation was looked at again and brought into the 21st century,” said Virginia.
“I have spoken with North Wales Police Rural Crime Team Manager Rob Taylor, who supports a change along with the NFU and FUW and I will continue to look at how we can improve this old legislation and better protect farmers.”
Virginia said that better education for dog owners and a national campaign is also needed to try and counter livestock worrying.
“The vast majority of dog owners are responsible when in the countryside and often those who let their dogs off the lead do so out of ignorance rather than malice, so more education is needed to make everyone aware of the risks, in addition to better legislation,” she added.
Following their meeting, the Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse MP said “As a rural MP myself I am very alive to the issue Virginia has raised with me. It’s alarming to hear about these distressing incidents on Anglesey and I will consult with my officials to see what more can be done.”