NFU Scotland is asking dog owners to remember to put their dog on a lead when around livestock over the festive period, as many walk off those mince pies and selection box sweets over the coming weeks.
With many people on holiday for several weeks, there is often an increase in the number of dogs being walked in or around farmland at this time of year.
As part of the Control Your Dog campaign, NFU Scotland is urging all dog owners to take care and responsibility of their dogs while walking on farmland, whether they can see livestock or not.
The Union has conducted a 12-month campaign to reduce the number of attacks on livestock but also to reduce the amount of dog poo left lying around farmland, as this can cause serious health issues for livestock if accidentally consumed.
The key messages of the campaign include
- Be informed – know your responsibilities under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code
- Plan ahead – know your route, ensure you have poo bags and a lead
- Control your pet – keep dogs on a lead around livestock. Know the steps to take if things don’t go to plan – cattle charging, dog escapes?
- Don’t leave it hanging – picking up your dog’s poo is not enough, take it with you and put bin it, even if on the fringes of farmland. Don’t just ‘flick it’ into the bushes
This Christmas, NFU Scotland is asking dog owners to consider their farming and crofting neighbours by enjoying the countryside responsibly.
NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said
Many people underestimate the damage dogs can do to livestock – whether that is attacking them when being off a lead or causing them to contract dangerous diseases through their poo – we need dog owners to take responsibility for controlling their dogs whilst out enjoying the countryside.
You can read more about the Control Your Dog On Farmland capmaign on the NFUS website.