Falkirk MSP urges action to stop lethal attacks on livestock

Dog attacks on livestock have more than doubled in a decade, and Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald is among those insisting it’s a trend that urgently needs to be reversed.

By Roy Beers
Sunday, 10th March 2019, 1:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th March 2019, 2:12 pm

He’s asking residents across Falkirk district to take part in the public consultation on proposals to tackle the problem, which annually sees sheep molested and often killed by dogs allowed to slip the leash.

The consultation, which ends on May 15, was launched last month by SNP MSP Emma Harper, and has the support of organisations including NFU Scotland, the Scottish SPCA, and Police Scotland.

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Mr MacDonald said: “The consequences of a dog attack on livestock can be devastating to a farmer both financially and emotionally, while it is a very serious animal welfare issue for the livestock involved.

“At this time of year sheep will be pregnant, and even the chasing of a sheep by a dog - without any physical contact taking place - can be so stressful for the ewe that it can abort the lambs it is carrying.

“I would ask constituents to ensure that when walking dogs near livestock to keep their dog on a lead to prevent further attacks.

Clare Slipper, Political Affairs Manager of NFU Scotland, said: “Despite a vast amount of awareness raising, livestock worrying continues to blight Scottish farmers and crofters.

“Dogs themselves are not to blame, it’s their irresponsible owners who need to wake up and understand the devastation this is causing.

“We urge as many people as possible to fill out the consultation and give their views on an issue that continues to blight Scottish agriculture.”

The consultation can be accessed at www.parliament.scot/gettinginvolved/111027.aspx