NSA Breakfast Club - #LeadOn: an early morning focus on the current legislation around sheep worrying by dogs and the potential for change

Date: 5th May 2021

Time: 8.30am

Location: Online - zoom webinar

The #LeadOn Breakfast Club webinar engaged attendees with a summary of NSA's 2021 Sheep Worrying Survey results setting the scene for an early morning discussion on current legislation and the potential for change. The session was chaired by Neil Parish MP who has campaigned himself for more to be done about this serious issue. NSA also welcomed Marisa Heath of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) to the webinar speaking about the potential for legislation changes in England and Wales within ongoing work to address the issue.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker presented a breakdown of the NSA survey results, which demonstrated a worryingly increasing trend, a sense of powerlessness when confronted by a dog attack on sheep and increasing frustration in the apparent lack of authority to change behaviour and attitudes. The overwhelming consensus from the survey was that a change in legislation is required, which nicely led on to the second speaker Grace Reid, NSA Scottish Region Coordinator who gave an overview on the recent changes to Scottish legislation resulting in more powers to the police, increased fines and prison sentences. All representing a change to how the offence is described and defined, to give greater prominence to the serious instances.

To round up the talks, Marisa Heath gave an overview of where improvements can be made to assert responsible dog ownership, including better information when making a choice of dog, guidance on dog training with greater emphasis on ensuring dogs are properly microchipped and the data updated appropriately to record changes in ownership. On the potential for changes to the legislation in England & Wales, Marisa went on to suggest that it may be worth listening to the Queen’s speech this Tuesday 11th May (starts at 11.30 am), as she hopes that it will cover some of the priorities highlighted in the recent APGAW report. The webinar can be viewed again by clicking here.