South Scotland MSP, Emma Harper, is urging constituents in Dumfries & Galloway to take part in the public consultation on her proposals to tackle the growing issue of dogs attacking livestock before the deadline on Wednesday 15th May.
Incidents of livestock attacks, also known in the farming community as “livestock worrying”, have more than doubled in the past decade and this year Police Scotland revealed that 338 such attacks were reported to them last year alone.
Emma Harper MSP, with the backing of a number of organisations including NFU Scotland, the Scottish SPCA, Police Scotland and the National Sheep Association Scotland, is seeking to change the law in Scotland which would increase penalties and provide additional powers to investigate such offences more effectively.
Commenting, Ms. Harper said:
“The rise in the number of dogs attacking livestock, particularly sheep, in the past decade is a serious concern. Livestock attacks can hit a farmer and their family hard financially, but emotionally as well.
“There is a life-long, emotional investment farmers make into their livestock, by nurturing and helping their stock grow on their farms over many generations. Just one dog loose in a field can end years of hard work and investment. These attacks are also a very serious animal welfare issue, with many livestock found dead following an attack or having to be put down due to the severity of their injuries.
“This is an issue the scottish Governemnt takes very seriously – with a huge number of my parliamentary colleagues from rural areas supporting my proposed Members’ Bill – and I would call on everyone to have their say so together we can make the best law possible to prevent such attacks from happening in the future.
“We’ve already received 684 responses so far – which is fantastic – but I would encourage more farmers, dog walkers, vets and other stakeholders to have their say before the May 15th deadline.”
Take part in the consultation here: https://www.parliament.scot/gettinginvolved/111027.aspx