New film tar­gets own­ers of dogs that are out of con­trol

The Oban Times - - Farming -

A NEW ‘sheep-wise’ cam­paign to warn the pub­lic about the con­se­quences of fail­ing to con­trol their dogs has been launched by the Na­tional Sheep As­so­ci­a­tion of Scot­land (NSAS) and Qual­ity Meat Scot­land.

Scot­land’s ru­ral or­gan­i­sa­tions are unit­ing be­hind the cam­paign which also has the sup­port of the Scot­tish SPCA, Po­lice Scot­land, the Bri­tish Vet­eri­nary As­so­ci­a­tion, NFU Scot­land, Scot­tish Land and Es­tates, and Scot­tish Nat­u­ral Her­itage.

The ini­tia­tive in­cludes a high-im­pact, two-minute film aimed at high­light­ing the dev­as­ta­tion, for farm­ers and dog own­ers, caused by sheep wor­ry­ing.

The film fea­tures pow­er­ful ac­counts of sheep wor­ry­ing from Ab­erdeen­shire farmer and chair­man of the NSAS John Fyall, vet David McLaren, and Gill Mac­Gre­gor, Scot­tish SPCA se­nior in­spec­tor.

The film also ar­tic­u­lates the an­guish which dog own­ers face, along with po­ten­tial pros­e­cu­tion, if they fail to con­trol their dogs in the coun­try­side.

Kathy Pee­bles, NSAS vice- chair­woman, said: ‘ For farm­ers, as well as lost in­come, it is heart-break­ing to wit­ness hor­ren­dous in­juries in the sheep they work hard to look af­ter.

‘For preg­nant ewes, the re­sult of be­ing hounded by dogs can be mis­car­riage of un­born lambs and for ewes with young lambs at foot the re­sult can be off­spring get­ting sep­a­rated from ewes and dy­ing of hy­pother­mia or star­va­tion.

‘The out­come could be a vet putting down a healthy dog, which is dis­tress­ing for the owner and could eas­ily be avoided.’

Mike Flynn, Scot­tish SPCA chief su­per­in­ten­dent, also urged peo­ple to en­sure their dogs are kept se­cure at home be­cause in many cases the source of the prob­lem is dogs which are un­ac­com­pa­nied and al­lowed to roam.

Po­lice In­spec­tor Jane Don­ald­son, ru­ral crime co- or­di­na­tor, added: ‘Po­lice Scot­land recog­nises that the wor­ry­ing of live­stock can have dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences for farm an­i­mals and has an ob­vi­ous fi­nan­cial and emo­tional im­pact on farm­ers and their busi­nesses, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the spring lamb­ing pe­riod. The Scot­tish Part­ner­ship Against Ru­ral Crime (SPARC) live­stock wor­ry­ing cam­paign runs from Fe­bru­ary-May and the ad­vice to dog own­ers is to keep your dog un­der con­trol at all times and avoid go­ing into fields where live­stock is graz­ing. 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.’

More in­for­ma­tion for dog own­ers is avail­able by vis­it­ing www. out­dooracess- scot­land. com.

John Fyall and Gill Mac­Gre­gor, who fea­ture in the Sheep-wise film.

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