Ynys Môn MP Virginia Crosbie has secured the support of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the Kennel Club in her campaign to tighten the law around livestock worrying.
Virginia recently introduced a Ten-Minute Rule Bill seeking to give the police the right to seize dogs and take DNA samples. However, the bill will not be given parliamentary time to proceed.
The focus is now to put in amendments to the Kept Animals Bill going through parliament after a meeting to discuss the issue with NFU president Minette Batters in Westminster.
“I am delighted to receive the support of these esteemed organisations for my campaign to update the laws around livestock worrying,” said Virginia.
“This is a huge problem here on Anglesey and across Wales, particularly since the pandemic, as more and more people go to the countryside with their dogs.
“The fact is existing legislation, the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, is old and does not reflect modern dog ownership, leisure trends, DNA technology or modern farming practice.”
Virginia welcomed the Government’s Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill but said it did not go far enough.
She said an amendment giving the police powers to seize a dog and to take DNA samples where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion the dog has worried livestock would make the legislation tougher and more effective.
“I think action is urgently needed and this is borne out by my conservations with Anglesey farmers who are at their wits’ end over dog attacks on their livestock.
“Nationally, in 2020, the cost to the farming community of livestock worrying was estimated to be around £1.3 million and it is thought that around 15,000 sheep are killed by dogs each year.
“This figure needs to come down and better legislation and also better education will help achieve it,” she added.
Virginia, the Kennel Club and the NFU will now join forces to campaign for the amendment with letters to Defra and lobbying of ministers.