SAVED: PAGE: ACTIVE AREA:

Worrying Rise in Sheep Worrying Cases

Union takes up issue with West Lothian Council

A worrying rise in sheep worrying cases has seen NFU Scotland urge one local authority to direct appropriate resources to tackle the growing problem.

In both the Lothians and the Borders, there have been several upsetting and distressing cases of sheep worrying reported in recent weeks – some involving irresponsible dog owners not keeping their pets under control around livestock and one involving stray animals.

The most recent case of sheep worrying affected Lothian and Borders Regional Chairman, Iain Orr on his farm at Standhill, Blackridge, near Bathgate.

That incident prompted NFU Scotland to write to West Lothian Council and its access forum, asking for more support in tackling the problem.  The Union also wants an access officer to be re-appointed by the council as a matter of urgency and for all stakeholders, including the local police force, to help.

Mr Orr added:

“Discovering sheep that have been killed or maimed by dogs is deeply distressing.  The fact that cases appear to be rising rather than falling suggests that local authorities and other stakeholders must take their responsibilities more seriously.

“We want to ensure that action is taken to educate dog walkers on the devastating effects that worrying has on sheep.  By following the simple messages in the Scottish Outdoor Access code that require dogs to be kept under close control in the countryside, these distressing incidents can be largely avoided. We want to encourage the public to use the countryside but do so in a responsible manner.

“We have therefore asked West Lothian Access Forum to do all it can to highlight this issue and promote the code.  Given the onus on the local authority regarding access, we were disappointed to discover that West Lothian Council has no access officer in post.  Access officers are a great help in informing the public and farmers alike of their responsibilities.   We would want one appointed in this area with some urgency.

“The stray dog issue is a more difficult issue to crack. I have asked West Lothian Council what resources they have to deal with the problem of strays.   

“We have also spoken with Lothian and Borders police force to clarify its role in dealing with cases of worrying.  Its response suggests that a patchwork of personnel – police, wildlife crime officers, dog wardens and access officers all need to be involved in tackling the problem.  

“Only by having all stakeholders – farmers, local authorities and the police working together – can we avoid distressing death and injury to sheep going forward and we would want to get everyone round the table as soon as possible.”

Notes to Editors

  • Lothian and Borders Regional Chairman Iain Orr can be contacted on 07973 407519.  Lothian and Borders Regional Manager, Nina Clancy can be contacted on 07780 441750 or Email: nina.clancy@nfus.org.uk
  • A photograph of Iain Orr is available on request.


Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 146/12


< Article List

Close

Report Abusive Comment

Comment Content:

Why it offends me (optional):



Have Your Say

No-one has commented on this article yet. Be the first to have your say...

New Comment

Share

Total Pages:
Total Results:
Page Start:
Page Result #:

Quick Contact

 
 
Which Region do you live in?  
Are you a member of NFU Scotland?  
 
 

This form collects and sends the information supplied to NFU Scotland. You can read our privacy policy for full details on how we protect and manage your data.
  I consent to having NFU Scotland collect the above details.

Registred Address

NFU Scotland
Head Office
Rural Centre - West Mains
Ingliston, Midlothian
EH28 8LT

Place of registration: Scotland

Company Registration Number: SC214564

Tel: 0131 472 4000
Email: info@nfus.org.uk

NFU Mutual Logo

Get the App

NFUS App QR Code

©NFU Scotland • All Rights Reserved • Web design by Big Red DigitalLog in

Close

Contact Us

 

 

 

No Robots:

This form collects and sends the information supplied to NFU Scotland. You can read our privacy policy for full details on how we protect and manage your data.
  I consent to having NFU Scotland collect the above details.