Insurers welcome proposals to tighten up sheep worrying law as claim amounts soar

Sheep grazing. Picture: JULIE KEMP

Sheep grazing. Picture: JULIE KEMP - Credit: citizenside.com

A proposed tightening of rules around livestock worrying has been welcomed by insurers, who say the cost of incidents has soared.

NFU Mutual says it has seen a 67% rise in claim amounts over the last two years.

In the east, claim sums rose steeply from a total of £4,000 in 2015 to £11,000 in 2017.

It has welcomed a report by the National Police Chief’s Council, which calls for legislation to make livestock worrying a recordable offence.

Under current rules, dog owners are not required to report their dog if it attacks a livestock animal but livestock worrying causes horrific injuries and costs UK agriculture an estimated £1.6m a year, according to NFU Mutual.

Its rural affairs specialist Tim Price welcomed the recommendations. “The call for police to be able to obtain DNA from dogs suspected of attacking livestock is particularly important,” he said.