‘Jail dog owners for livestock worrying’ says NFU Scotland

Harsher penalties including custodial sentences and community orders must be given for serious cases of livestock worrying.

That’s the view of NFU Scotland, which has responded to a consultation for a proposed Members Bill on livestock worrying, brought forward by Emma Harper MSP.

The consultation calls for additional powers for Police Scotland, including powers to issue Dog Control Notices.

See also: The law on shooting dogs – critical facts farmers must know

In 2007/08, 81 livestock offences were recorded in Scotland, rising to 133 in 2011/12, and 175 in 2016/17, according to official Scottish government figures.

Charlie Adam, NFUS vice-president, said: “We believe that adding imprisonment to the range of sanctions for extremely severe cases or where an individual is a repeat offender is necessary.”

Financial costs ‘understated’

NFUS says the financial costs to victims are often understated and the real cost of this problem is likely to be much higher than published figures suggest.

In February, the union launched a 12-month national campaign to educate dog owners about their responsibilities, including the need to ensure fences and hedges are in good order to prevent pets escaping from homes.

The campaign also advises dog walkers on letting go of their dogs if attacked by cows and avoiding fields containing livestock. 

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