Your dog – your responsibility

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With the school holidays upon us, visitors and local residents alike are being reminded to control dogs around livestock.

A partnership between NFU Scotland, Police Scotland and Argyll and Bute Council has been promoting  the ‘Control Your Dog on Farmland’ campaign.

Speaking at a launch event unveiling new campaign banners, held at Iain Malcolm’s Nether Largie farm in Kilmartin, NFUS Argyll and Islands regional manager Lucy Sumsion said: ‘Livestock worrying remains a blight on Scottish farmers and crofters and some of the worst incidents in recent times have been in this region.

‘As a partnership, we remain on the front foot on this issue. We have developed new signage and guidance for farmers, crofters and landowners and provided advice on what to do in the event of an attack.

‘We have assisted in the provision of training for Police Scotland personnel on what they need to do when investigating an attack and issued open letters to dog owners highlighting their responsibilities.

‘As a union, we are very supportive of Emma Harper MSP’s Protection of Livestock (Scotland) Bill going through the Scottish Parliament and the changes that we believe are needed – more investigative powers for the police in order to secure evidence, increased sentencing and the ability to remove dogs from an owner when required.

‘In addition, NFUS would support more widespread use of Dog Control Notices (DCNs) and the need for a national data base for people who have had a DCN issued on them.

Police Scotland area commander, Chief Inspector Marlene Bailey, added: ‘This continues to be an excellent example of meaningful partnership working in Argyll and Bute to address an issue that is important to the farming community and to dog owners across our area.

‘The police, NFU Scotland and Argyll and Bute Council are committed to raising awareness of the impact of livestock attacks which includes financial detriment to farmers, suffering to animals which can often include the dog involved and upset to all parties as a consequence.

‘We are also keen to educate people regarding the legislation and penalties that can be enforced and providing practical advice on how to prevent such horrific incidents occurring in the first place.’