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Increase in Livestock Attacks and Worrying Calls Seen by Police Scotland

In the latest Local Area Commanders Bulletin for Perth and Kinross, Police Scotland have issued a timely reminder to dog owners about livestock attacks and worrying following an increase in calls in recent months.

Police Scotland are aware that many owners may not realise the impact their dogs have on livestock but are reminding them it’s their responsibility to ensure attacks and worrying don’t happen.

Some examples of livestock worrying include:

  • a dog chasing livestock in a manner that could cause injury or suffering,
  • the stress caused to the animal by the presence of the dog, could, in the case of female livestock, cause abortion or miscarriage,
  • livestock becoming desperate in their attempts to escape and injure themselves in doing so,
  • dogs who chase ewes or lambs may cause them to separate from their mothers, later dying of starvation or hyperthermia.

Dog owners are being asked If they are in an area where there is livestock to always keep their dog in sight and under control, and if this can’t be guaranteed always keep them on a lead.

The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2021 came into force in November 2021 with the purpose of tackling out of control dogs attacking and worrying livestock. Under this act “livestock” is wide ranging and includes cattle, sheep, goats, swine (pig/boars), horses, camelids (alpacas/lamas) ostriches, farmed deer, enclosed game birds or poultry.

The act gives the powers for owners of dogs that attack or worry livestock to be fined up to £40,000 and in some cases the owner can be set to prison for up to 12 months.

Call 999 if the crime is ongoing and animals are being injured. To report a crime

which isn’t ongoing call 101 or submit an online contact form at https://www.scotland.police.uk/secureforms/contact/

The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2021 can be found at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2021/18/section/5

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