Dog own­ers warned as part of spring cam­paign

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

DOG OWN­ERS are be­ing warned their an­i­mal could be killed if it is found to be in the pres­ence of sheep, even if it has not phys­i­cally at­tacked them or chased them.

The warn­ing comes at the start of a cam­paign launched on Mon­day Fe­bru­ary 13 by the Scot­tish Part­ner­ship Against Ru­ral Crime, in con­junc­tion with Po­lice Scot­land, Scot­tish Nat­u­ral Her­itage, the Na­tional Farm­ers’ Union Scot­land, Scot­tish Land and Es­tates and the Ken­nel Club to raise aware­ness among dog own­ers about the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of live­stock wor­ry­ing.

The cam­paign seeks to high­light to dog own­ers who live in or walk their pets in the coun­try­side that they must act re­spon­si­bly and keep their dogs un­der close con­trol.

Re­sults from a sim­i­lar cam­paign last year showed two-thirds of all re­ported crime in­volved a dog which was ei­ther lo­cal to the area or al­lowed to roam free or had es­caped from a house or gar­den.

A dog at­tack­ing, chas­ing or even be­ing at large in a field where sheep are kept can lead to sig­nif­i­cant in­jury and of­ten leads to the sheep be­ing killed or de­stroyed.

Such at­tacks have a fi­nan­cial and emo­tional im­pact on the farmer and cause im­mense suf­fer­ing to the an­i­mals, all of which are avoid­able if dog own­ers fol­low some sim­ple steps.

In­spec­tor Jane Don­ald­son, Po­lice Scot­land’s ru­ral crime co- or­di­na­tor, said: ‘The wor­ry­ing of live­stock can have dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences for farm an­i­mals and has an ob­vi­ous fi­nan­cial and emo­tional im­pact on farm­ers and their busi­nesses.

‘This cam­paign is be­ing launched to co­in­cide with the spring lamb­ing pe­riod be­cause this is when sheep are at great­est risk.

‘The vast ma­jor­ity of live­stock wor­ry­ing in­ci­dents in­volve sheep and can oc­cur when a dog at­tacks, chases or, in the case of sheep, is at large (not on a lead or oth­er­wise un­der close con­trol) in a field where live­stock is kept.

‘The dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of a dog at­tack can­not be over­stated but sig- nif­i­cant dam­age can also be caused by a dog sim­ply be­ing present in a field.

‘Preg­nant ewes can abort their lambs or lambs can be sep­a­rated from their moth­ers, caus­ing dis­tress and in some cases mal­nu­tri­tion.’

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.

Preven­tive mea­sures can be also be taken us­ing Dog Con­trol No­tices is­sued by the lo­cal author­ity.

These writ­ten no­tices can be served on own­ers who do not keep their dogs un­der proper con­trol and place con­trol mea­sures such as keep­ing the dog on a lead or be­ing muz­zled in a pub­lic place.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.