Initiative Targets Irresponsible Dog Owners in Dumfries and Galloway

NFU Scotland and partners were out in force in Dumfries and Galloway over the weekend to encourage responsible dog ownership in the countryside.

Dumfries and Galloway Regional Manager Teresa Dougall launched the local initiative at Loch Ken Holiday Park, on Saturday 20 April, which stems from the national Union’s Control Your Dog on Farmland campaign. Teresa was joined by Police Scotland, Emma Harper MSP and local farmer Mungo Bryson. The group spoke to dog walkers throughout the day, encouraging them to keep their dogs on a lead on farmland and pick up after them.

Further local events are planned on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 June across the region to educate dog walkers about their responsibilities when walking on or near farmland, as well as distributing publicity material to local businesses and farms.

The key messages are aimed at farmers and dog owners and include:

  • Be informed – know your responsibilities under the Code
  • Plan ahead – know your route, ensure you have poo bags and a lead
  • Control your pet – keep dogs on a lead around livestock. Know the steps to take if things don’t go to plan – cattle charging, dog escapes?
  • Don’t leave it hanging – picking up your dog’s poo is not enough, take it with you and put it in a bin, even if on the fringes of farmland. Do not just ‘flick it’ into the bushes.

This campaign complements the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime campaign Your Dog, Your Responsibility.

In addition to this, a public consultation on a proposed Protection of Livestock Bill by Emma Harper MSP seeks changes in the law to promote responsible behaviour from dog owners, and to deter people from allowing their dogs to roam freely near livestock. The consultation, which can be filled out by 15 May, but visiting: https://www.parliament.scot/gettinginvolved/111027.aspx

NFU Scotland’s Director of Regions and Dumfries and Galloway Regional Manager, Teresa Dougall, commented: “We had a fantastic day on Saturday launching the Dumfries and Galloway arm of the NFU Scotland Control Your Dog On Farmland campaign.

“We were heartened by the number of responsible dog owners – both adults and children – who stopped by to ask about what we were doing.  Our launch at Loch Ken Holiday Park couldn’t have been better given its location and proximity to surrounding farmland. 
“We are seeking the help of others within the region to help us spread the message and encourage responsible dog ownership. We have flyers and posters available and would businesses to get in touch to display them. We look forward to continuing this work in our region in the coming weeks and months.”

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