Ceredigion MP Ben Lake has launched a bid in Westminster to crack down on ‘gruesome’ dog attacks on livestock.
The Plaid Cymru MP and agriculture spokesperson in Westminster has offered to table a bill to crack down on “gruesome” dog attacks after the UK Government failed to revive animal welfare legislation.
The Kept Animals Bill would have also banned live exports, cracked down on puppy smuggling and put a ban on primates as pets. In the House of Commons last month, the Conservatives failed to support attempts to revive the bill.
Mr Lake told MPs how in the last few weeks alone, three different farming families in his constituency had informed him of attacks on their livestock by dogs. He said that together they have lost about 40 sheep.
He said “we cannot underestimate how traumatic it must be for the animals to suffer such gruesome attacks and to die in such a horrible way”.
Mr Lake, who was on the Bill Committee for the Kept Animals Bill, said it was a “tragedy of the situation” that protections would now depend on “the luck of the draw of the private Members’ ballot” after the government failed to support efforts to bring back the bill. Mr Lake offered to introduce legislation himself to for greater protections for livestock against dangerous dogs.
Mr Lake added: “As anybody who represents a rural constituency will know, one of the most horrific experiences that anyone can witness in life is the aftermath of a dog attack on livestock – primarily sheep, but also other livestock. In the last few weeks alone, I have spoken to three different farming families in Ceredigion who have suffered attacks on their livestock by dogs. Together they have lost about 40 sheep completely, with a further dozen or so on life support, as it were. The photographs are gruesome. We cannot underestimate how traumatic it must be for the animals to suffer such gruesome attacks and to die in such a horrible way.
“We need to make sure that the measures that were included in the bill to address the deficiencies of the current legislation, the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act of 1953, are brought forward in haste, because that act is not fit for purpose as it stands. Police desperately require greater investigatory powers in order to bring more instances of dog attacks to prosecution and to serve as a deterrent to other dog owners, so that they make sure that they keep their animals under control.”