AS part of ongoing work to highlight the serious and devastating issue of sheep worrying by dogs, a survey has been released to gauge the continued severity and impact on the UK sheep industry.

The National Sheep Association (NSA) has launched its annual survey on the topic to gain an up to date insight on incidents.

Sheep worrying incidents by dogs cause significant welfare concerns for sheep and serious upset to farmers whose flocks are affected.

To continue to raise awareness of these incidents and find ways of improving education, guidance and cooperation the NSA is inviting all UK sheep farmers, whether they have experienced issues with sheep worrying or not, to contribute to the survey – it is open from now until March 25. The survey can be completed on the NSA website by visiting

“The NSA receives calls from distressed sheep farmers who have experienced attacks on their flocks on a very regular basis,” said NSA policy and technical officer, Sean Riches.

“As a nation of animal lovers, it is difficult to comprehend how these devastating attacks are allowed to continue. This is a serious welfare issue, where sheep are regularly subjected to threats by dogs who chase and cause physical harm.”

The 2022 survey is launched at an especially significant time for UK sheep flocks with lambing season approaching or already under way. Many ewes are in the final stages of pregnancy or have young vulnerable lambs at foot meaning the risk of miscarriage or mismothering due to stress from a sheep worrying attack is increased.

Recent changes in legislation have been proposed to try and tackle the issue but the NSA believes these do not go far enough, failing to contain sufficient deterrents to prevent attacks happening. And while in Scotland the legislation has been strengthened, the NSA feels there is an increased need for dog owner education to reinforce the unpredictable behaviour of even a well-trained dog.

For more information on the issue of sheep worrying by dogs and NSA’s work on this issue please visit