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Union’s Sheep Worrying Action Stepped Up in Midlothian

NFU Scotland has stepped up its fight against sheep worrying in Midlothian, as it took to Vogrie Country Park this week.

Incidents of sheep worrying are happening all too often in this area and as such the Union took to the park to speak to dog owners and professional dog walkers to educate them about their responsibilities and the damage that can be done if their dogs run out of control.

NFU Scotland has been working with Midlothian Council and local officers from Police Scotland to tackle the issue.

Regional Manager Kerry Clark, who has attended this and various other events in recent months focussed on educating the public about sheep worrying, commented: “Last year saw the highest number of instances from over the last seven years of livestock worrying, and we need dog owners to take heed of our warnings, to keep dogs on lead and under their control, avoiding fields with livestock where possible and taking an alternative route.

“Spring time is such an important time for farmers with lambing and calving, and as we’ve seen, incidents of sheep worrying can have devastating effects for both the owners and the animals involved.

“Our event at Vogrie Country Park gave us a prime opportunity to speak to members of the public and professional dog walkers who sometimes don’t realise the impact letting dogs off leads around sheep can have and we hope our awareness-raising will pay off with people taking note of the warnings.”

A spokesman for Midlothian Council said: “We cannot stress enough how important it is to keep dogs under close control while at Vogrie or indeed at any parks and open spaces.

“It’s a criminal offence to have a dog that is worrying sheep or attacking sheep. If you see a dog chasing, attacking or worrying sheep in any way, call the police as soon as possible.

“If you see anyone with a dog that looks out of control in one of our parks then please report it to a member of staff in the park. Alternatively, you can call on Midlothian Council to report it.”

Notes to Editors

  • Photographs from Vogrie Country Park event are available by contacting media@nfus.org.uk.

Ends

Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Author: Ruth McClean

Date Published:

News Article No.: 44/17


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About The Author

Ruth McClean

Having worked in the communications and journalism industry for the last 11 years, NFU Scotland’s Communications Manager Ruth McClean understands the needs of journalists and has extensive knowledge of the wider agricultural industry. After growing up in Argyll and Bute and working in the area as a reporter for local newspapers for eight years, Ruth joined NFU Scotland in 2013 in her current role. She is also Editor of the Union’s membership magazine the Scottish Farming Leader.

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