North West Wales

Farmers shooting dogs over sheep attacks the 'final straw'

Sheep and lambs

Shooting dogs that attack livestock is only ever the "final straw", a Conwy county farmer has claimed.

Gareth Wyn Jones, of Llanfairfechan, said the distress caused to sheep by dogs is akin to running after "a heavily pregnant woman with a motor car".

It comes as figures show more than 300 dogs were shot by landowners in England and Wales in the last five years.

In response, Mr Jones called for owners to take control of their pets.

The figures were revealed in a Freedom of Information request by the BBC.

The law allows for the shooting of dogs if they pose a threat to animals but police must be informed within 48 hours.

'Dangers'

Mr Jones told BBC 5 Live that the public needed to be educated about the danger of walking dogs around livestock.

"I don't think farmers take it lightly on shooting people's dogs. It has to come to the final straw," he said.

"I've had to do it and it's not a nice situation to be in. We'd lost a few lambs night after night and this dog was getting let out of the house very early in the morning."

He said owners must take more responsibility: "[Dogs] are natural born killers. That's what their jobs are; they are to herd or to hunt.

"People must understand that it's their responsibility to take control, put their dogs on the lead, not leave them out at all times. We've got to drum this into them."

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