NFU Scotland has written an open letter to the public asking them to keep dogs on leads following revelations livestock worrying has hit a seven-year high.
Figures obtained by the union show there were 179 cases of livestock worrying last year, 46 more than the year before.
Highlands and Islands had the highest number of incidents at 36, closely followed by Lothians and Borders with 27. Aberdeenshire and Moray came in third with 22 cases.
Sheep worrying has been a big problem for Jimmy Ireland, who farms in Aryshire. He said: “Sheep worrying continues to be a burden on us, and it is not just the financial losses we suffer, but the stress it can cause for sheep and the time we have to take away from the day-to-day running of our business.
“I have been dealing with Police Scotland locally to push for prosecution for those responsible, but the issue continues to rear its ugly head time and again. Reluctantly, we can be left with no option but to shoot a dog to stop it worrying our livestock.”
Senior Government and police chiefs recently promised they would take action to deal with the crime after research showed 15,000 sheep were killed across the UK in 2016 – ten times more than previously thought.
To request Take the Lead signs which warn dog owners to keep their pets on a lead around livestock, send a self-addressed A4 envelope with at least three first class stamps to:
FG Take the Lead
Unit 4 Fulwood Business Park
For more information about the campaign, click HERE.