Anger over sheep wor­ry­ing

The Scotsman - - Weather | Farming - By BRIAN HEN­DER­SON

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.”

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