MORE than 1,000 sheep have been killed by dogs this year, according to a local action group.
SheepWatchUK, which has been launched by Petersfield environmentalist Terena Plowright, has now recorded 930 dog attacks on sheep nationally since January.
Terena’s findings suggest any breed of dog can be involved and attacks are occurring across the country at any time of the day.
More than half of all attacks take place with no owner present, suggesting that it is dogs escaping from gardens and those running loose that play a large part in the problem.
A conference took place to gather together key bodies, such as the National Sheep Association, the police and the National Farmers’ Union.
Terena said: ‘It was very constructive. I was delighted that instead of just talking about it, there have been steps agreed across all partners that may make significant changes to this desperate situation.’
The conference heard from Stephen Jenkinson, from the Kennel Club.
He said: ‘We need to include dog walking space as part of the planning process. People want to let their dog have a run off the lead but we need to find ways of identifying safe areas.’