Livestock worrying campaign

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Message sent by

Donald MacKay (Police, Constable, Argyll and West Dumbartonshire)


The worrying of sheep by domestic dogs not only has the obvious financial impact on farmers when livestock is killed or injured, but the day to day effect on the animals themselves, their productivity and welfare. This is a serious issue in the Farming Community. The Scottish Partnership against Rural Crime (SPARC) has identified the worrying of livestock as one of the key issues impacting on rural / agricultural communities in Scotland.


Incidents are highest during March, April and May, coinciding with the main lambing season, however another peak comes in November, coinciding with the ewes being brought onto lower land for mating and being in fields accessible by dog walkers or straying dogs. As such, Police Scotland will undertake a robust and proactive approach to working in partnership with the farming community and local residents during November.


Police Scotland Divisional Leads for Rural Crime will have responsibility for the local delivery of this initiative to;


•             prevent further instances of sheep / livestock worrying during the campaign

•             educate dog owners regarding their responsibilities, the effects of dogs worrying livestock and  promote a better understanding of impact on the farming community.

•             encourage farmers to report all incidents, including near misses

•             enforce legislation robustly ensuring all reported cases of sheep worrying are thoroughly investigated and offenders reported.


The following resources are available for download and printing or to be used to signpost others to the information;


Signage and advice for Farmers/Landowners -




Advice for Dog Walkers -



Further information on the Campaign can be sought from your Local Police Station or Officer.


PC Donald MacKay

Rural Watch Co-ordinator

Argyll & West Dunbartonshire
Police Scotland

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