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Livestock warning for dog walkers

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Livestock warning for dog walkers

A MONTH long campaign kicked off this week to raise awareness among dog owners about the devastating effects of livestock worrying.

It coincides with a rise in livestock attacks by dogs during November, a time when sheep are brought down to low lying pasture, in areas more accessible by people exercising their dogs or by local dogs that are allowed to roam free.

Police Scotland, National Farmers Union of Scotland and Scottish Land & Estates are working with Scottish Natural Heritage to promote responsible dog walking in the countryside.
Inspector Jane Donaldson, Police Scotland’s rural crime co-ordinator, said: “Rural dog owners and those who choose to exercise their dogs in the countryside must ensure they are under control at all times and avoid going into fields where livestock is grazing. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code says that dogs shouldn’t be taken into fields where there are lambs or other young farm animals.
“The worrying of sheep and other livestock by domestic dogs not only has an obvious financial and emotional impact on farmers when their animals are killed or injured, but also has an effect on the animals themselves, their productivity and welfare.”
She added: “Police Scotland will robustly enforce the existing legislation, ensuring all reported cases of livestock being attacked by dogs are thoroughly investigated and offenders reported to the Procurator Fiscal.”
And Gemma Cooper, of the National Farmers Union (Scotland) added: “Instances of dog worrying are never acceptable; they cause our farmers personal heartache, and often substantial and ongoing financial loss. It is disappointing that instances are still high in number.”

Annan and Eskdale

24th May

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