Sheep worrying incidents reported

Rural Watch update on sheep worrying in the North East

Unfortunately, recent weeks have seen instances of sheep worrying in the rural community being reported, despite previous alerts and campaigns to advise of the dangers.

At this time of year (although not exclusively), the public should keep their dogs under control in the countryside.

Dog Owners must never allow their dog to worry or attack farm animals. They must not take their dogs into fields where there are lambs, calves and other young farm animals such as horses and their foals.

Your dog could, for example, cause a pregnant ewe to miscarry. It could also cause a newborn lamb to become separated from its mother before they’ve bonded, resulting in the mother rejecting the lamb once it’s returned.

Injury and distress can be caused to older lambs and to other farm animals too.

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Regardless of whether a dog has been let off a lead and not obeying commands, whether someone else was in charge of the dog at the relevant time; or through the increasing number of dogs left alone at home or in gardens then escaping, owners are reminded that they must take responsibility for the actions of their dog.

The Law
Did you know – Under the Animals (Scotland) Act 1987, a farmer, in some cases, has the right to shoot your dog if it is worrying animals?

Owners must also maintain control of their dogs in areas such as moorland, grassland, forests and shoreline to avoid birds nesting near or on the ground.

Dog owners are therefore reminded that they have to be extra vigilant particularly at this time of year.

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