DOG attacks on livestock across North Wales have fallen.

In 2019, six incidents were reported on Anglesey. This compares to 11 in 2018 and 12 in 2017.

In Gwynedd, there were nine in 2019. This is a decrease on 2018 when there were 33 and 29 in 2017.

The number of dog attacks on livestock overall in 2019 - across Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd and Wrexham - fell to 49 reported instances.

This is a huge decrease compared to the previous two years; in 2018 there were 129 reported and in 2017.

Rob Taylor, Rural Crime Team manager, said: “Prior to our dedicated team starting in 2013 there were no figures recorded anywhere in the UK, so the true extent of the problem was unknown.

“We voluntarily started recording these figures and we were shocked by what we discovered. We also found that our figures were replicated throughout the UK after asking other forces to voluntarily record them.”

“Since that time the team has dealt with many horrendous offences where animals have been savaged and pet dogs killed, which is totally unacceptable”.

Livestock attacks by dogs have been a serious issue to farmers over the years.

Many animals, including the dogs themselves, have been legally shot during an attack or put down after the owner has been brought before the court.

The Rural Crime Team shave been working hard to tackle the issue and have worked with partner agencies, such as the National Farmers Union and Farmers Union of Wales, to raise awareness and bring the problem of irresponsible dog ownership to the fore.

Over the past four years the team have liaised with politicians and Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) to seek a change in the 1953 The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act.

Mr Taylor added: “The current act is now antiquated and does not cover such things as the police power to obtain DNA from a suspect dog or to protect animals such as Alpacas or Llamas. This is about changing the attitudes of dog owners and not about putting people before our courts.”

The Rural Crime Team in North Wales was the first designated team of its type.