Apr 18 2012 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Wednesday
MORE than a dozen sheep have been killed after being attacked by out-of-control dogs in local fields.
A spokesperson for Central Scotland Police said late last week that, during a six-week period from February 29 until April 12, a total of 14 livestock had been killed, ten injured and several chased following nine separate reported incidents.
On March 7, in the Bannockburn area, a 35-year-old male from Fallin was reported to the procurator fiscal following an incident where two dogs killed three sheep and injured seven others.
Police have also said that, on March 17, a 53-year-old female from Drymen was reported to the fiscal after her dog chased a number of sheep.
The vast majority of the distressing cases took place within the Stirling area – including four incidents in Drymen – with the others occurring in Slamannan and Dollar, respectively.
Constable Paul Barr, the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park police officer, urged pet owners to exercise their animals responsibly.
The officer explained: “Farmers are entitled to shoot a dog if there is no other way to prevent livestock from being injured. Although the term ‘sheep-worrying’ is used, the reality is that the sheep are chased to exhaustion and then eaten to death by a dog, or dogs.
“This must be an excruciating death for the animal and causes a great deal of distress for farmers, as well as a financial loss.”
PC Barr added: “This is currently the lambing season and dog owners should take all steps to prevent their animals from escaping when near to livestock.
“If dogs are being walked in areas with livestock they should be kept under close control, preferably on a lead. The mere sight of a dog running loose in a field containing sheep can cause panic, injury and abortion in pregnant ewes.
“We’re advising members of the public not to take a dog into a field where young livestock are present.”
Call Central Scotland Police on 01786 456000. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously via the Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.