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Owners warned to keep control of dogs on Christmas walks

Dog owners are once again being reminded to keep their dogs on a lead around livestock following a series of attacks.


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Dogs can cause carnage if they are allowed to run loose among livestock
Dogs can cause carnage if they are allowed to run loose among livestock

As walkers take to the countryside over the Christmas break, farmers are concerned for the safety of their stock.

 

Police in Scotland have been investigating a number of incidents in Roslin where several sheep were killed.

 

One incident took place overnight on November 26/27 at Langhill Farm, another on November 28/29 and a third in the early hours of December 15/16.

 

Four sheep have died and around 20 have suffered injuries.

 

Sgt Michele Lindsay at Penicuik Police Station said: "These three incidents happened on the same land and we are treating it as sheep worrying caused by a dog. Because of the rural nature of the area, we do not currently have any witnesses so are keen to speak to anyone who may have any information.

 

"We are committed to tackling rural crime and are working with farmers, landowners and businesses in the rural parts of Midlothian and our partners such as NFU Scotland and SSPCA to raise awareness of such crimes and measures that can be taken to prevent them.”

 

Farmers Guardian’s Take the Lead campaign has continued to highlight the importance of responsible dog ownership, however statistics from police show attacks on farms are happening regularly.

 

Sgt Lindsay added: "Everyone who uses our rural areas for business or pleasure has a responsibility to keep them safe, and so we would encourage visitors to leave the countryside as they find it and be mindful of not leaving gates open and reporting any damage they might find; and for people who live and work there to ensure they keep their land and property secure, mark property and report any crimes or concerns to their local officers."

 

It came as the Crown Office announced a new approach to tackling agricultural crime in Scotland.

 

After meetings with key industry representatives including NFU Scotland, the prosecution policy has been updated to better recognise the financial and emotional impact on victims.

 

NFUS president Allan Bowie said the changes would take into account the cost of rural and agricultural crime and the impact it has on families.

 

Anyone with any information about a crime should contact police via 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, or if a crime is in progress, always dial 999.


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