Recent figures confirm attacks have risen by more than 50 per cent in the past three years, prompting calls for pets to be kept on leads around livestock.
The BVA is asking dog owners to support a campaign spearheaded by the Farmers Guardian that aims to improve relationships in rural areas by encouraging walkers to keep dogs on leads near livestock.
New figures, obtained by the farming publication from Freedom of Information requests to UK police forces, showed there were more than 1,000 attacks on livestock by dogs in 2013, up from 691 in 2011.
BVA president Robin Hargreaves said: “These figures make disturbing reading for anyone with an interest in animal welfare.
“Our members see first-hand the terrible consequences when dogs are not kept under control around livestock, especially during lambing season.
“Chasing and attacks can lead to serious injuries, fatalities and spontaneous abortion for sheep and other livestock.
“The results of these avoidable attacks are deeply distressing for the animal, the farmer and for the vet.
“We don’t want to discourage people from walking their dogs in the countryside – it’s great exercise and has health benefits for both owner and pet.
“However, responsible ownership, including keeping dogs on leads when necessary, is the cornerstone of good relationships between dog owners and farmers.
“It is good practice for owners to keep dogs on leads at all times when walking near livestock, but it is particularly important during the spring. Attacks early in the year often lead to lambs being lost and sheep being killed and injured.”
Owners are also asked to bag and remove their dog’s faeces when walking in the countryside as it can spread disease among livestock and wildlife.