NFU Mutual is calling for dog owners to ensure their pets are under control at all times as the lambing season gets underway on farms across the region.
Research from the company found almost three quarters of dog owners (73 per cent) now allow their pets to roam off-lead in the countryside – up from (64 per cent) a year ago.
This is despite around half saying their dog doesn’t always come back when called.
The leading rural insurer estimates that farm animals worth £242,000 were injured or killed by dogs in the Midlands last year, making it the second worst affected English region by cost after the South East (£266,000).
NFU Mutual is calling for dog owners to:
Keep dogs on the lead when walking in rural areas where livestock are kept but let go of the lead if chased by cattle
Be aware that even small dogs can cause the distress, injury and death of farm animals
Report attacks by dogs to the police or local farmers
Don’t let dogs loose unsupervised in gardens near livestock fields – many attacks are caused by dogs which escape and attack sheep grazing nearby.