Attacks on sheep spark police plea

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Fourteen sheep have been killed in a series of attacks by dogs.

Nine incidents have been reported - one in Slamman - with 10 animals also injured and several others chased.

Now Central Scotland Police is urging dog owners to keep their pets on leads when walking near livestock.

PC Paul Barr, the Loch Lomond and Trossach National Park officer, said: “This is the lambing season and dog owners should take all steps to prevent their animals from escaping when near to livestock.

‘‘If dogs are being walked in areas with livestock they should be kept under close control, preferably on a lead.

‘‘The mere sight of a dog running loose in a field containing sheep can cause panic, injury and abortion in pregnant ewes.

‘’Members of the public are advised not to take a dog into a field where young livestock are present.”

A 35-year-old man has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal after two dogs killed three sheep and injured seven others.

A 53-year-old woman has also been reported to the Procurator Fiscal after her dog chased a number of sheep.

PC Barr added: “Farmers are entitled to shoot a dog if there is no other way to prevent livestock from being injured.

‘‘Although the term ‘sheep worrying’ is used, the reality is that the sheep are chased to exhaustion and then eaten to death by a dog or dogs.

‘‘This must be an excruciating death for the animal and causes a great deal of distress for farmers as well as a financial loss.”

Anyone with information can contact Central Scotland Police on (01786) 456000 or information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.