Council and police join forces over livestock attacks

Disturbance of the ground near the hooves of the pregnant ewe show that she lived for a short time after the attack Carcasses of 5 pregnant ewes which were savaged by a dog or dogs between nant drive and soroba in oban picture kevin mcglynn

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Police Scotland have worked successfully with Argyll and Bute Council to toughen up on livestock attacks.

Incidents of livestock worrying have more than doubled in the past 10 years.

And it is the opinion of many that current laws are not strong enough to prevent livestock worrying from taking place.

In September, Nicholas Rowley of Rothesay let his four dogs loose on a farm near Inveraray. In total they maimed and killed 17 sheep, causing more than £4,000 of damage. He was sentenced to 80 hours of community service.

The victim, Brian Walker, admitted that the outcome was disappointing but not surprising. Since then, a massive public campaign has been under way after attacks continued into 2019.

Mr Walker will be joining Constable Ben Rusden of Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay police at the Scottish Parliament, where they will share their experience of how they managed to track down the dogs and take their owner to court. This was achieved with help from local farmers and the SSPCA.

The campaign has gathered momentum very quickly. Farmers are now being provided with signs instructing dog owners to control their pets.

Police officers will be specifically trained in how to deal with livestock

Mid Argyll and Kintyre Area Inspector Julie McLeish has thanked local farmer Brian Walker for supporting the campaign.

She said: ‘Due to the effective joint working that took place, we secured a conviction with improved working practices and recognition of the role each agency and individual plays in this process.’

Councillor Roddy McCuish, policy lead for roads and amenity services, has also supported the campaign. He said: ‘Dogs must be under control at all times and should be on a lead when near farm animals.’