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Keep dogs under control

WILDLIFE officers in Shetland are urging the public to remember to keep dogs under control when they are near livestock, in particular sheep with the forthcoming lambing season fast approaching.

Police Scotland’s local liaison officers, John Paul McAllister and George Owen, are working with SSPCA inspector Louise Sales to minimise the risk of upsetting livestock.

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They said sheep worrying by domestic dogs is a serious issue that can significantly affect the welfare and productivity of livestock and can also have financial implications for crofters and farmers who keep the animals.

Sales said: “Dog owners have a duty to keep their pets under control and on a lead around livestock.

“Anyone found guilty of allowing or encouraging their dog to attack sheep or lambs may find themselves facing animal cruelty charges and could also be responsible for compensating the farmer’s loss.”

Police Scotland also wishes to remind landowners to ensure adequate, well-maintained fencing is in place around their land to help prevent the escape of livestock – which will assist in protecting livestock and minimising any additional risk to motorists or other members of the public in such areas.

McAllister said incidents of livestock worrying should be reported to the police by dialling 101 or, in an emergency, 999.

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