Gordon MP Richard Thomson has highlighted a change in the law which came into effect recently to give greater protection against incidences of livestock worrying by dogs.
The Protection of Livestock (Amendment)(Scotland) Act came into force in November 2021 and extends the powers available to Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to better investigate and enforce those who allow out of control dogs to worry or attack livestock. Any attacks on livestock can have serious financial and emotional consequences for farmers and their families. The change in the law was brought in by a Members’ Bill initiated by SNP MSP for the South of Scotland region Emma Harper.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“In the eight months prior to this legislation taking effect, Police Scotland recorded over 100 incidents of livestock worrying.
“The vast majority of dog-owners do of course behave responsibly and ensure their pets are under control where there is livestock nearby.
“However, the new law includes a provision to fine the owners of dogs that attack livestock up to £40,000 or even a prison sentence, remembering of course that farmers have the right to shoot any dog they find in the act of attacking livestock.
“Dog attacks cause an incredible amount of suffering and anxiety for livestock and with lambing season in particular coming up, I would appeal to dog owners to ensure their dog is under control when near livestock.”