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MSP calls for livestock care this spring

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By Fiona Reid
MSP calls for livestock care this spring

NEW figures have revealed a sharp rise in the number of farm animals severely injured or killed in Scotland last year.

Animals worth an estimated £123,000 were either hurt or lost, more than double the previous year, according to figures from NFU Mutual.

Now Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson is urging dog owners planning to visit the countryside to be extra vigilant at a time when sheep and lambs are at their most vulnerable.

He said: “As we rapidly approach lambing season it is important that dog owners are more cautious than ever and follow simple rules.

“Dogs must be kept on a lead when walking in rural areas where livestock are kept but let go of the lead if chased by cattle.

“Be fully aware that all dogs, regardless of size, breed and temperament, can cause the distress, injury and death of farm animals.”

He added any attacks by dogs must be reported to the police and local farmers.

Mr Carson continued: “Never let dogs loose unsupervised in gardens near livestock fields – many attacks are caused by dogs which escape and attack sheep grazing nearby.

“While they are simple measures, it could avoid unnecessary attacks on vulnerable sheep and newborn lambs – which is something we all want to see.”


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