Farmers in Wales are concerned about an increase in livestock attacks over the Easter period.

NFU Mutual has reminded dog owners to be cautious as this is a period when sheep and lambs are most vulnerable.

Last year, Welsh farm animals worth an estimated £883,000 were severely injured or killed by dogs, more than double the 2022 cost, reveal NFU Mutual's most recent figures.

NFU Mutual's recent survey of more than 1,100 dog owners found 68 per cent were letting their dogs off leads in the countryside last year, more than the 64 per cent in 2022.

Only 49 per cent claimed their pet always comes back when called.

Almost eight percent confessed to their dogs chasing livestock, but 46 per cent believed their dogs could not cause the death or injury of farm animals.

NFU Mutual is backing the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) Bill, which aims to strengthen police powers to deal with dog attacks on livestock.

NFU Mutual manager for Wales, Owen Suckley, said: "The Easter holidays is a great opportunity to explore the Welsh countryside, but people must remember these idyllic rural destinations are working environments, key to farmers’ livelihoods and home to millions of sheep and new-born lambs."

Wales rural and wildlife police crime coordinator, Rob Taylor, added: "Sadly, we continue to witness the behaviour of irresponsible dog ownership in our rural areas with people allowing their pets to freely roam where sheep are present, with the obvious tragic consequences.

"By not using common sense and the appropriate care for your pet, you risk seriously injuring or killing livestock, a criminal conviction and a heavy fine.

"It’s really simple advice, walk your dog where you know livestock isn’t present and always use a lead."