THE National Sheep Association (NSA) has highlighted inadequacies in the advice given to the general public in the new version of the Countryside Code, placing sheep farmers and their flocks at further risk at this busy time for the sector.

Changes in the guidance include information on walking only on footpaths and not feeding livestock but little recognition has been made to the increasing problem of irresponsible dog ownership and sheep worrying by dogs.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker says: “The consultation has fallen short of the mark in terms of what is needed. I’m not convinced that the high level of consultation claimed was really adequate, and most importantly there are significant gaps between the information contained in the more detailed version of the code (that few people will read), and that contained in simpler version (that the majority of people who read it will get to see).