NFU Welshpool helps relieve ‘worry’ by launching Dog Line

The NFU Welshpool team are helping local farmers reduce the threat of sheep worrying by launching ‘Dog Line’ for its NFU members. Stephen Kenyon, Group Secretary for NFU East Montgomery, is asking local residents, walkers and farmers to text a message to Dog Line, a dedicated telephone number, should they see unwanted roaming dogs around livestock. Stephen will then send out a live alert to his farming members to highlight a possible risk and raise awareness.  

The NFU Welshpool office already operates a successful Farm Watch scheme in coordination with Dyfed-Powys Police, notifying members to local crime incidents. Dog Line is an extension of the service.

Stephen Kenyon, Group Secretary of the NFU East Montgomery Group, said; “We are extremely fortunate to have some beautiful landscapes in our local area that should be enjoyed by dog walkers, but we must be aware of grazing sheep. Sheep are valuable assets and any loss in life has an impact on a farmer’s livelihood. Only recently we have heard in the national news of one of the UK’s worst sheep attacks, with more than 100 sheep killed at a farm in Chichester - many of these sheep were heavily pregnant.”

Stephen adds; “Chasing by dogs can do serious damage to sheep, even if it doesn’t catch them. The stress of worrying by dogs can cause sheep to die and particularly at this time of year, cause a sheep to abort her lambs. It is vital that dog owners keep dogs on leads around livestock and if you live near to a farming area, ensure your dog is kept secure to avoid it escaping to neighbouring land with sheep.”

The NFU East Montgomery Group covers a wide area including Welshpool, Guilsfield, Arddleen, Four Crosses, Llanymynech, Llandrinio, Leighton, Forden, Marton, Montgomery, Chirbury, Churchstoke, Berriew, Garthmyl, Abermule, Sarn, Buttington, Trewern, Middletown and Castle Caereinion. In the case of stray dogs, local residents are being advised to contact Stephen Kenyon.

Stephen concludes; “The purpose of Dog Line is to raise awareness in the local East Montgomery area - helping farmers protect livestock and also ensure a dog is returned safely back to its home and owner. Dog Line is here to help our local community; call or text 07736497511 should you witness any unusual activity, disrupted livestock or roaming dogs.”