Dog owners warned after sheep attacks across Argyll

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Dog walkers have been warned to keep their pets on a lead near livestock after several attacks on sheep in Oban, Mull, Lochgilphead and Cowal.

Police are investigating an incident on Wednesday February 6, around 5pm, when a small dark-coloured Spaniel type dog was seen chasing sheep in a field near Dunadd Farm. The dog was eventually caught by the person in charge of it and taken away in a vehicle.

This follows an earlier incident around 4pm on Saturday January 26, also in a field near Dunadd Farm, when a small stocky Spaniel type dog was seen chasing sheep. The dog was eventually caught by two women who had charge of the dog and it was taken away in a vehicle.

A dog is also believed to have attacked and killed five pregnant ewes in a field near Nant Drive, Oban sometime between 4pm on Monday February 11 and 4pm on Tuesday February 12.

Three sheep were killed on Wednesday February 13 in a field near Mull Hospital, Craignure.

In another January incident, a sheep near Lochgoilhead was attacked by a dog. The owner was charged and a Dog Control Notice issued in conjunction with Argyll and Bute Council.

Robbie MacDougall, owner of the sheep killed on Mull, said: ‘I have never in my life seen anything like this. It is devastating. I have a croft and that was my stock.’

Three of Mr MacDougall’s nine sheep were killed, three were left with life- threatening injuries, two were missing and one survived unscathed.

He continued: ‘The dogs certainly know how to kill. They took them out by the throat and every [sheep] had chest wounds.

‘The person must know their dogs have killed sheep. They would have come home dirty and full of blood. They were missing for a considerable amount of time.’

Lochgilphead police sergeant Iain MacNicol said: ‘These incidents are particularly serious attacks and would have been extremely traumatic for the animals involved. Such incidents are also emotionally distressing for the farmers and witnesses.

‘Dog owners have a legal responsibility to keep their dogs under control at all times and dogs should be kept on a close lead when anywhere near livestock.

‘Dog owners can be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000. Dog owners can also be held financially liable for damages done by a dog.’

Anyone with any information should contact the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

The relevant crime reference numbers for the attacks are: Oban, LB00860219; Mull, LB00930219; Lochgilphead, LB00900219.