Police may be given new rights to seize dogs as a result of livestock assaults, according to a lawmaker.
If Anglesey’s MP succeeds in changing the legislation, police will have new powers to take dogs that have attacked animals.
Virginia Crosbie wants police to be able to take DNA samples from canines they suspect of attacking people.
Her proposed legislation would make livestock worrying a crime, with provisions to ensure that farmers are fairly paid for their losses.
Ms. Crosbie, a Conservative MP, has met with officials from the Home Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), as well as the National Farmers Union and previous cabinet ministers.
She claims that current legislation, which dates back to the 1950s, is ineffective.
“Right now, you can lose three of your prize ewes, which could be pregnant with twin lambs, and it won’t be recorded as a crime, but if you lose a piece of glass worth £5, it will be.”
She expects that by better recording crimes against animals, rural police units will be able to garner more money.
“People don’t realize how much damage a dog can cause,” she explained.
“Dog attacks on sheep are catastrophic for a farming family,” said NFU chief land management adviser Sam Durham. Losing animals you’ve reared for years in such a tragic way has a practical consequence on a farm, but it also has a big emotional impact on the family involved.
“It’s excellent that Virginia Crosbie is bringing this vital problem to Parliament’s attention, and the NFU has been delighted to assist her. We urge other MPs to vote in favor of her bill.
“While the government’s commitment to address livestock concerns through the Kept Animals Bill is welcome, we believe there is still more that can be done. We favor stronger powers for police to capture and identify dogs, and we support a far more explicit definition of keeping dogs ‘under close control’ around cattle, which is now too ambiguous.”