GLOUCESTERSHIRE police have said they will join “Operation Recall” to help keep animals safe. 

The campaign is being run by forces all over the country from Wednesday (March 27) until Wednesday (April 3). 

Operation Recall was originally launched last year (2023) by Cheshire Police, alongside Naturewatch and the RSPCA. 

It aims to protect livestock by encouraging dog owners using the countryside to behave in a responsible manner.

Sergeant Sam Swinford, of the Force’s Rural Crime Team, said: “We’re very fortunate in Gloucestershire to have so many footpaths going through private land and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“However, that means that it is on us as dog owners to ensure that our pets don’t harm livestock which are also using this land to graze.

“Throughout this week of Recall, we hope that you will help us support farmers in ensuring that their livestock are kept safe and well.

“When you go out for a walk in the countryside, please keep your dog on a lead.

“There are ewes out in the field at the moment that are about to have lambs and, if you are anything like me as a dog owner, you would be absolutely devastated to think that your dog might have caused harm to that flock.”

The move comes after figures released by NFU Mutual showed that farm animals worth an estimated £2.4 million were severely injured or killed by dogs in 2023. It also showed attacks have sharply increased by 30% from 2022.

The SouthWest was the worst-hit region by cost, with dog attacks on livestock costing an estimated £359,000.

Geoff Edmond, national wildlife coordinator at the RSPCA, said: "No one wants to see animals suffer and whilst the vast majority of dog owners take care as a matter of course, sadly accidents can happen and even the most docile and obedient dogs can get distracted and excited by grazing animals.

“By listening to the advice and getting behind Operation Recall the public can end such unnecessary incidents. Some actions in life we can't avoid. This one we can.”

To find out more, visit Naturewatch’s website.