Reported dog attacks on rise
REPORTS of livestock worrying have risen by 55 per cent since the start of the lambing season. Across the country, the number of reported dog attacks on livestock rose from from 45 to 70, which is being put down to a successful campaign to encourage livestock keepers to report these incidents.
Police officers investigated all reported incidents, with 60 per cent detected and the dog owner or person responsible reported to the procurator fiscal.
Sheep were by far the most common animal affected.
In 79 per cent of incidents livestock were killed or injured and, on average, this involved two or three sheep per incident.
The majority of attacks involved only one dog and in nearly three- quarters of the cases the offending dog was local to that area with more than half of all incidents involving a dog roaming free and where no responsible person was present.
Inspector Jane Donaldson, Police Scotland rural crime co- ordinator said: ‘Livestock worrying has previously been under-reported. Farmers were often reluctant to report incidents to police, particularly where there was a ‘near miss’ and no physical damage was done to their livestock.
‘A significant part of the spring campaign was to get this message out to farmers and encourage them to report all incidents and I think that this is reflected in the increase in reported crimes.
‘Farmers and those who use the countryside are urged to report all incidents of livestock worrying to police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.’