Anger over sheep worrying
NFU Scotland has said it will continue to seek harsher penalties for those who let their dogs attack livestock following the sentencing of an Argyll man earlier this week.
In spring Nicholas Rowley of Rothesey allowed four dogs for which he was responsible to seriously injure and kill a total of 17 sheep on farmland near Inveraray. The total damages of the attack were estimated to be around £4,100.
This week, Rowley who had previously pled guilty to the offence, was sen- tenced to an 80 hour community payback order. Sheriff Thomas Ward expressed frustration that under the current legislation he was unable to impose a prison sentence, nor could he disqualify 56-year-old Rowley from keeping dogs.
Farmer Brian Walker said he had been let down by antiquated legislation and urged everyone to support the union’s campaign to bring the law into the 21 st Century.
Union president Andrew Mccornick said the case was a prime example of the importance of full and proportionate compensation for those impacted by livestock worrying – and current fines and other penalties fell well short of the physical and emotional costs of such attacks: “Livestock worrying continues to be a blight on Scottish agriculture, and greater sanctions and further public awareness are needed so dog owners are fully aware of their responsibilities to keep their animals under control.”
“We are disappointed with the outcome but it is only through legislative changes that those who are responsible be held fully accountable for their actions.”