The FUW has joined North Wales Police in reminding members of the public to keep their dogs on a lead following a recent spate of deadly dog attacks on local farmer Wil Williams’ sheep in Aberdaron.

Speaking with the Union recently, PC Dewi Rhys Evans of NW Rural Crime Team said: “It’s frustrating to see so many incidents of livestock worrying recently, each of which could have been easily avoided with responsible dog ownership. Once again we are urging people to keep their dogs under control, on a lead. We are currently working with Liverpool John Moores University on a study that aims to identify the best methods of obtaining dog DNA from animal wounds.”

Dr Hazel Wright, FUW Senior Policy Officer, added: “Dog attacks on livestock continue despite numerous industry campaigns aimed at educating dog walkers about the risks their dogs pose near livestock. The impact of a dog attack on a farming family is tremendous. Our farmers are repeatedly faced with a field of dead or dying stock following a dog attack and many are at financial and emotional breaking point”

Irresponsible dog owners remain a significant problem for FUW members and the union has repeatedly called for greater powers for police, tougher penalties for offenders and for the UK Kept Animals Bill to make it mandatory for dogs to be kept on a lead near livestock.

“Dog attacks are preventable and it is hoped that the UK Kept Animals Bill will create the legislative change needed to safeguard both dog and livestock welfare” added Dr Wright.

Mr Williams said: “It is clear that there is still so much education that needs to be done to teach dog owners about keeping their dogs on leads at all times around livestock, as well as stressing the importance of knowing where your dogs are at all times.”

He added: “Dog owners must be responsible and must also make sure that their dogs are kept in a safe and secure environment at night.”

Dafydd, Mr Williams’ grandson agreed, saying: “It hurts when this happens. People need to realise how dangerous their dogs are when they are left off the lead.”

Speaking on this issue, Wales Rural & Wildlife Crime Coordinator, Rob Taylor said: “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.”