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Dog owners reminded to keep control around livestock

Livestock worrying can have a devastating effect. Pregnant ewes can abort lambs or lambs can be separated from their mothers simply by dogs being present in a field.

Dog owners in Orkney are today being reminded to keep their pets under control when near livestock.

With the improving weather, Orkney Islands Council (OIC) is reminding anyone exercising their dogs in the countryside that they have to ensure their dogs are under control at all times and they should avoid going into fields where livestock are grazing.

The vast majority of livestock worrying incidents involve sheep and can occur when a dog attacks or chases sheep, or is not on a lead or under close control in a field where livestock are kept.

The council is reminding dog owners of the devastating effects a dog attack can have and that significant damage can also be caused by a dog simply being present in a field. Pregnant ewes can abort their lambs or lambs can be separated from their mothers, causing distress and in some cases malnutrition.

Mark Evans is the Animal Welfare Officer for Orkney Islands Council. He said: “Thankfully, the vast majority of dog owners ensure their dogs are well behaved.

“However, every year there are isolated reports of incidents and we would like to remind the public that if a dog worries livestock on any agricultural land then the owner and or the person in charge of the dog, is guilty of a criminal offence.”

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