Dog attacks on livestock double so give Wales the powers to tackle it

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Politicians and police are joining forces to tackle the growing menace of dog attacks in Wales.

Attacks on livestock nearly doubled in Wales last year, costing Welsh agriculture £285,000 – a 113% increase in costs from the previous year.

Recent figures from North Wales Police showed there were 449 cases of dog attacks recorded in the area between 2013 and 2017. Almost nine out of 10 of these dog attacks occurred when pets strayed from home.

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s shadow rural affairs minister, is launching a new report on the Royal Welsh showground with fellow Plaid Cymru members Ben Lake (Ceredigion MP), Dafydd Llywelyn (Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner) and Arfon Jones (North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner) outlining ways to find a Welsh solution to the problem.

He said: “It’s clear that we must find solutions of dealing with this growing problem, as these figures show the scale of the problem.

“Plaid Cymru agrees with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) and North Wales Police that current legislation needs updating, as it does not permit the police do their jobs effectively.

“Plaid Cymru AMs and MPs have written to the UK Government expressing these concerns, and its response to our letter made it clear that it has no intention of seeking, let alone implementing, reform to safeguard livestock. The UK Government is letting Welsh farmers down –  and that is why we are calling for the devolution of all powers relating to attacks on livestock from Westminster to Wales.”

Ben Lake, Plaid Cymru’s Ceredigion MP, added: “This is a major issue for the livestock farmers of Wales, impacting on incomes and in some cases causing severe mental health issues for those involved.”

“We must fast track the devolution and use of much needed powers aimed at reducing this deeply damaging problem that is a serious threat to life and rural livelihoods.”

The launch, at the Plaid Cymru stall in the South Glamorgan Hall on the showground starts at 1pm on Monday, 22 July.

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