Dog control warning after pregnant ewe killed

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With lambing in full swing around Argyll, dog owners have been reminded to keep their pets under close control in the countryside.

Dog attacks on sheep continue, despite recent publicity around the subject.

On April 2 in Lochgoilhead, a dog owner was charged by police for allowing their dog to run loose in a field containing livestock. The dog chased and killed a pregnant ewe.

Area commander Chief Inspector Emma Grimason said:  ‘When walking your dog in your local area, we urge people to act responsibly and keep your dog under close control. This is more important than ever during lambing season where we would ask all dog walkers to keep well away from fields containing sheep.

‘The most common misconception is that dog owners believe their dog wouldn’t worry or cause injury to sheep. The best way to ensure this is to keep your dog on a lead and well away from fields containing livestock.’

Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, the dog simply being off the lead in a field containing livestock is an offence, even if the dog does not chase or worry livestock whilst being off the lead.

Farmers and those who use the countryside are urged to report all incidents of sheep worrying to police on 101 or 999 if the incident is ongoing.

Lucy Sumsion, NFU Scotland’s regional manager for Argyll and the Islands, added: ‘Unfortunately there was a horrific dog attack on livestock in Lochgoilhead recently which resulted in the death of a ewe heavy in lamb.

‘Please be extra vigilant and keep your dog on a lead near livestock.’