2015-08-07   facebooktwitterrss

Small Animal Vets Called to Join the Battle Against Sheep Worrying

The National Sheep Association (NSA) and Sheep Veterinary Society (SVS) have called for small animal vet practices to join the battle to raise awareness of responsible dog ownership.

The two organisations have sent a joint letter to vet professionals encouraging them to display a ‘Stop and Think’ poster in their waiting rooms and treatment areas, so owners will see them when visiting the veterinary surgery.

Stop and Think

Speaking about the challenge facing sheep farmers, Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, says;
Sheep worrying causes a multitude of problems for sheep farmers. Not only are we seeing direct injuries from incidences of sheep worrying, but also many indirect, stress-related injuries, such as abortions.

“By working with veterinary professionals to give them the information to advise dog owners of the risk from their dog to sheep, the NSA and SVS is hoping to encourage more responsible dog ownership across the UK. It’s also vital we work with the veterinary industry to make dog owners aware of the fact that they could be subject to a fine, or risk their dog being destroyed, should they be prosecuted for sheep worrying.”

The farming community does not always find it easy to engage with dog walkers on the issue of sheep worrying, whereas companion animal vets have a regular audience with dog owners. Even if it’s only for a routine vaccination, owners need to visit their vet at some point, and will hopefully see the poster prominently displayed when they do so.

Fiona Lovatt of SVS says:
“Unfortunately most sheep vets will, at some stage, have been presented with sheep that have been badly injured by dogs. In many cases there is no option but to put the sheep down, which is incredibly distressing for everyone – not just the injured animals but the owners of both the sheep and the dogs. Sheep Veterinary Society is pleased to highlight this to our veterinary colleagues and encourage them to display posters in their surgeries and waiting rooms.”

The poster has been produced in conjunction with Farmers Guardian’s ‘Take The Lead’ campaign. Hard copies can be requested by vet practices from NSA on 01684 892661.

NSA

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