Re­ported dog at­tacks on rise

The Oban Times - - Farming -

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.’

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