Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has called on dog owners to keep their animals under control around sheep and other livestock as the end of lambing season nears. 

Research shows that majority of incidents involving dogs worrying or attacking sheep are on land which is not accessible to the public.

Wales Rural & Wildlife Crime Coordinator, Rob Taylor said: “The police regularly receive reports of sheep and other livestock being attacked by dogs throughout Wales, which is wholly preventable.

“We see more than 300 attacks per year with animals brutalised and often killed, as well as dogs being shot or euthanised and the owner appearing before the courts.

“Responsible dog ownership is key and it’s important to ensure pets are under control at all times, or if left home alone, that the house or garden are secure.”

The Countryside Code, published by Natural Resources Wales, provides clear guidance on the responsibility of dog owners to keep their dogs under effective control.

The code states that dogs should be kept on a lead or in sight at all times and owners should be confident that their dogs will return on command.

Lesley Griffiths said: “Dog attacks on sheep and other livestock is a matter we take very seriously and very sadly, we continue to see instances where animals are badly injured or killed.

“The majority of owners do the right thing in controlling their dogs, but there are others who don’t.

“The costs - financially and emotionally - for those who own or find dead and injured animals, are wholly unacceptable, as are the animal welfare implications.

“We are working with the UK Government on introducing further safeguards through the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill.

“I urge all owners to ensure their dog is kept under control and encourage livestock keepers to report all incidents where they are not to the police.”