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'Prison sentences and community payment orders will act as dog attack deterrent'

NFU Scotland has called for harsher penalties, including options for community payment orders and custodial sentences for people who let their dogs attack livestock.

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Prison sentences will act as dog attack deterrent, NFU Scotland says

The suggestions have been made in response to a consultation MSP Emma Harper proposed Members Bill on livestock worrying.

 

NFUS has also urged Scottish Government to ensure provision for full compensation based on actual losses suffered through attacks on livestock.

 

Union vice-president Charlie Adam said: “Current penalty levels do not act as enough of a deterrent to prevent dog owners from allowing their dogs to carry out livestock attacks.


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“Increasing financial penalties would send a strong message that it is unacceptable to allow a dog to worry livestock.

 

“Additional investigative powers are also welcomed as this could assist in increasing the number of prosecutions that occur,” he added.

 

Severe cases

“We believe that adding imprisonment to the range of sanctions for extremely severe cases or where an individual is a repeat offender is necessary.

 

“NFUS is also aware of several cases where perpetrators have avoided sanctions due to an inability to pay a financial penalty. Adding community payback orders will assist in ensuring that nobody is exempt from a form of sanction.”

 

NFUS also suggested:

  • Additional powers for Police Scotland, including the ability to issue Dog Control Notices;
  • The proposed period of 24 hours whereby the person responsible for the dog which has attacked takes the pet to a vet for the purpose of evidence gathering, is too long;
  • Supporting the extension of the definition of ‘livestock’ within the legislation to ‘all farmed livestock’, to take into account camelids and other farmed species.
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