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Keep dogs on a tight leash in Falkirk countryside warn police

Falkirk Council ranger Fiona Wishart is warning that dog owners face fines if their dogs chase livestock. PICTURE: Michael Gillen (141589)

Falkirk Council ranger Fiona Wishart is warning that dog owners face fines if their dogs chase livestock. PICTURE: Michael Gillen (141589)

 

Unruly canines are causing chaos, resulting in the deaths of animals and damage to farm property.

Police are now warning dog walkers to keep their pets on a tight leash.

It comes after a horse on Mydub Farm in Denny had to be put down because of injuries sustained when it was chased by a dog.

Farmer Hamish Taylor said: “It’s a real problem. A young girl came off her horse a couple of days ago when a dog chased the horse. Fortunately she was not hurt.”

In the first incident a fawn was also killed and its mother seriously injured. They were trapped in wire fencing, “struggling in terror”, according to Falkirk Council ranger Fiona Wishart.

Another three-month-old roe deer fawn was “savaged” by dogs that chased it into a reserve where animals are meant to be protected.

And a dog also chased a deer through Bonnybridge Main Street. Fiona said it was a “miracle” a serious accident was avoided.

She said: “These incidents all occurred because owners did not have control of their dogs. Pets which chase wildlife separate young from their mothers, individuals from their group and they may chase the animal from its home or, if they are pregnant, cause them to abort their young.”

The ranger added that while people have a right of way when walking in the countryside, failing to prevent dogs chasing livestock could result in a fine for the owner.

A police spokeswoman said: “Dog walkers are reminded of their responsibilities while outdoors. They should prevent dogs from chasing or attacking sheep. This is an offence and the courts can impose a number of penalties and the owner of the livestock is legally within their rights to take direct action to protect their stock.”

 

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