Farmers will be able to learn more about how to prevent dog attacks on their land and how to manage them if the worst happens.

It comes as it's revealed farm animals worth an estimated £2.4 million were severely injured or killed by dogs in 2023, up nearly 30 per cent compared to the previous year.

The south west was the worst-hit region in the UK by cost (£359,000).

An event held near Dorchester will help to raise awareness and help farmers understand more on what to do when faced with a dog attack, how to protect livestock, how vets can help, learn about future deterrents - and provide an opportunity to talk to their local Rural Crime Team officers.

The event is sponsored by NFU Mutual, NFU, Dorset Rural Crime Team, Synergy Farm Health, National Sheep Association (NSA) and Liverpool John Moore University.

It will be held at Bhompston Farm, Dorchester on Friday May 24 from 10am-1pm.

Dorset has seen a spate of livestock dog attacks in the past year with one incident occurring as recently as last week. 

READ MORE: Lamb killed by dog in attack in Sturminster Newton

Another farmer has been the victim of several livestock attacks over the past few years, losing four pregnant sheep and another three later in the same month in 2023, which caused him “unsustainable losses”.

Dorset Echo: Cameron Farquharson lost lambs to dog attacks in February last yearCameron Farquharson lost lambs to dog attacks in February last year (Image: Cameron Farquharson)

The killing of Cameron Farquharson’s highland cow Gladis by an off-lead dog prompted him to start a national campaign to give farm animals greater protection by making it mandatory to keep dogs restrained.

Last month a private members bill, which gives police greater powers to crack down on livestock worrying, passed the committee stage in the House of Commons.

READ MORE: Farmer Cameron Farquharson fears Easter dog attacks on lambs

Matt Uren, senior agent at NFU Mutual in Dorchester, said: “The shocking rise in the cost of dog attacks on livestock in the South West is incredibly alarming. This event will not only raise awareness about the impact of this crime but highlight what work is being done by the industry to help tackle it.

Dorset Echo: Cameron Farquharson with Gladys in 2020Cameron Farquharson with Gladys in 2020

“All dogs are capable of chasing, attacking and killing farm animals, regardless of breed, size or temperament. We’re urging all dog owners to be responsible for their pet and keep them on a lead when walking anywhere near livestock but let go if chased by cows.”

Dorset Police’s Rural Crime team was out across the county earlier this year  raising awareness about the consequences of livestock attacks as part of a national policing operation.

READ MORE:  Dorset Police launch operation to prevent livestock attacks

Sgt Natalie Skinner, of the Rural Crime Team at Dorset Police, said: “Whilst most dog owners are responsible, we know that accidents can happen, and even the most obedient dogs can get distracted and excited by grazing animals, which may lead to an attack.

“In the unfortunate event that your dog is involved in an attack, please report it to the police immediately so that the animals can get the medical attention they need.”

To register for the event email or call 02476 939 404.