Campaign highlights sheep worrying issue
A new Sheep-wise campaign to warn the public about the consequences of failing to control their dogs in the countryside has been launched by the National Sheep Association of Scotland and Quality Meat Scotland.
Rural organisations uniting behind the campaign include the Scottish SPCA, Police Scotland, British Veterinary Association, NFU Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates and Scottish Natural Heritage.
The initiative includes a high-impact film highlighting the devastation for farmers and dog owners from sheep worrying. It features first-hand accounts of sheep worrying from Aberdeenshire farmer John Fyall, NSA Scotland chairman, vet David McLaren of Stonehaven and Gill MacGregor, SSPCA senior inspector.
It also articulates the anguish which dog owners face, along with potential criminal prosecution, if they fail to control their dogs properly in the countryside.
Kathy Peebles, NSA Scotland vice-chairman, said: “As well as lost income it is heartbreaking for farmers to see horrendous injuries in the sheep they look after.
“The outcome could be a vet putting down a healthy dog. It's distressing for the owner and could easily be avoided by following the countryside access code.”
Carol McLaren, Quality Meat Scotland's head of communications, said: “A key message is that sheep worrying is not a dog problem; it's a dog-owner problem."
Mike Flynn, SSPCA chief superintendent, urged people to ensure their dogs were kept secure at home because, often, the source of the problem is dogs which are allowed to stray from home.
More information is at www.outdooracess-scotland.com and the Sheep-wise film is at www.qmscotland.co.uk/video-library