Dog owners threatened with prosecution

Following on from a number of incidents in recent weeks of dogs worrying sheep, dog walkers in Orkney and Shetland are being urged to keep their pets on a tight lead. 

National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Scotland has threatened owners who fail to keep their pets under control with the risk of prosecution. The union recently revealed that the number of livestock-worrying incidents in Scotland was the highest it has been in six years.

To raise awareness of the issue, which NFU Scotland believes to be under-reported, the farmers’ union has been working with stakeholders, including Police Scotland as part of the national Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime.

“It is very disappointing that, despite the extensive awareness-raising that has taken place in recent months on this issue, a small minority of the public continue to allow their dogs to worry sheep,” commented Kenny Slater, NFU Scotland’s group secretary.

“NFU Scotland strongly supports a robust approach to this issue, including prosecution of irresponsible dog owners.”

He highlighted that the worrying of sheep and other livestock can have a damaging impact on the livelihoods of farmers and can cause distress to the animals.

“Anyone walking their dog in the countryside should ensure they are familiar with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code ( and also ensure their dogs are adequately controlled so that they are unable to cause distress or injury to farm animals.”

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