Emma Harper MSP has thanked the 1,053 members of the public and organisations who submitted their responses to the public consultation on her proposals to tackle the growing problem in Scotland of dogs attacking livestock.
The South Scotland MSP’s proposed Protection of Livestock (Scotland) Bill seeks to increase penalties and provide additional powers to investigate and enforce the offence of livestock attack, also known as “livestock worrying”, incidents of which have more than doubled in the past decade.
The effort to change the law to prevent such attacks from happening have been supported by organisations including the National Farmers’ Union Scotland (NFUS), the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA), the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC), National Sheep Association Scotland (NSA Scotland) and farming magazines including The Scottish Farmer.
The responses will now be analysed and fed into the next stage of the Bill process, where it will be brought before the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy Committee where it will be considered as a potential piece of legislation.
Commenting on the responses received, Ms. Harper said:
_”THE NUMBER OF RESPONSES WE HAVE RECEIVED TO THIS CONSULTATION HAS FAR EXCEEDED OUR EXPECTATIONS AND REALLY SHOWS THE STRENGTH OF FEELING WITHIN SCOTLAND TO SEE ACTION TAKEN TO PREVENT SUCH ATTACKS FROM HAPPENING._
_”I WILL NOW WORK CLOSELY WITH THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT’S NON GOVERNMENT BILLS TEAM TO ANALYSE EVERY RESPONSE AND TO CAREFULLY CONSIDER IF CHANGES ARE REQUIRED OF THE PROPOSALS IN THEIR CURRENT FORM._
_”TO BE CLEAR – I WANT DOG OWNERS TO ENJOY OUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRYSIDE, WE ARE SIMPLY ASKING THAT THEY DO SO RESPONSIBLY AND TO CONSIDER THAT A FIELD IS A FARMER’S FACTORY FLOOR WHEN ACCESSING IT._
_”THE SUPPORT I’VE HAD FOR THESE PROPOSALS – FROM CONSTITUENTS, ORGANISATIONS AND MY PARLIAMENTARY COLLEAGUES FROM ALL PARTIES – HAS BEEN FANTASTIC AND I LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT STAGE OF THE PROCESS WHICH WILL SEE MY MEMBERS’ BILL PROPOSALS BROUGHT BEFORE THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT FOR SCRUTINY AT COMMITTEE LEVEL.”_