Farmers told to put up signage ahead of Easter influx of dog walkers
Date of alert:
Tuesday, 5 April 2022
With Easter and warmer weather on the horizon, farmers and landowners will soon witness an increase in the number of dog walkers on their land.
And while most people visiting the countryside do so responsibly, a small number cause headaches for farmers when their dogs worry or attack livestock.
The problem was exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic with farmers reporting an increase in the number of dog owners walking on their land during national and local lockdowns.
A survey by the National Sheep Association in 2021 found two-thirds of UK sheep farmers had experienced an increase in dog attacks on their animals since the start of the pandemic, while figures reveal that between April and November last year there were 103 incidents recorded by Police Scotland under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953.
This includes six in Aberdeenshire, eight in the Highlands, six in Angus and two in Fife.
New legislation, which increases the penalties for dog owners who let their pets worry livestock to up to a £40,000 fine and/or 12 months in prison, has been introduced to tackle the problem.