Prevention of sheep worrying in the UK: Rethinking the approach

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Abstract

Sheep worrying is a continuing concern in the UK and despite several campaigns, the incidence of worrying appears to be increasing. Worrying has a direct impact on sheep welfare (e.g. injury and in many cases death) and farmer welfare (e.g. economic and emotional). To highlight recent cases, the authors reviewed 20 news articles directly recording incidents of sheep worrying between January and July 2016 and highlight a range of variables related to sheep worrying, including the number of sheep deaths and injuries. More in-depth research is needed to assess how such incidents affect sheep farming in the UK, identify the best ways of informing the public of the risks of sheep worrying and to determine the efficacy of potential prevention methods.

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