A leading insurance broker has welcomed plans for tougher measures to tackle livestock worrying.

H&H Insurance Brokers has backed the proposed legislation as a positive step towards curbing the rising number of livestock attacks in the UK.

The endorsement comes following numerous incidents of this nature on Malvern Hills, and ahead of an expected rise in countryside dog walks over Easter weekend.



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The attacks refer to instances when dogs chase, attack or cause distress to animals like sheep or cows, often resulting in significant injury, emotional distress and, at times, death.

Under the new measures, the police would gain more extensive powers to address livestock worrying.

Paul Graham of H&H, said: "The impact of livestock worrying can be devastating, both in terms of the injuries caused to the animals and the stress and upset for farmers from seeing their animals suffer, as well as the financial implications to their livelihood.

"These proposed new measures are a step in the right direction which must also be combined with increasing awareness among dog owners about the importance of keeping their pets on a lead and under control whenever they are around livestock."

A recent National Sheep Association (NSA) survey of rural crime teams reported that 78 per cent of police forces noted a surge in dog attacks on sheep.

76 per cent responded to sheep worrying incidents at least once a month.

The survey indicated dogs off the lead was the primary cause of attacks, with signage use tipped as the most effective preventive measure.

The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) Bill, currently in Parliament, aims to update the current law, extending livestock definition to include alpacas and llamas, while widening enforcement locations to roads and paths.

This legislation empowers the police to seize dogs after serious incidents, grants greater powers of entry, and authorises taking evidence samples from livestock and dogs.