Media release: The Scottish Farmer takes a lead on dog owners and livestock worrying

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THE Scottish Farmer is a weekly business and professional magazine which has been supporting and campaigning on behalf of farmers since 1893. And the magazine has recently teamed up with NFU Scotland to tackle the worrying of livestock.

Says a spokesperson: “And, as a publication that has always supported the farming community, we are now asking the general public to support us.”

Following a spate of serious worrying of livestock by domestic dogs, pet owners are being urged to keep their dogs under control as the country’s farmers gear up for one of their busiest times of the year – calving and lambing.

The situation has become so severe in some rural areas that calls are now being made to change the law in relation to dealing with owners whose dogs cause injury or kill farmed livestock.

Adds the spokesperson: “Farmers’ leaders say that the current method of dealing with rogue and out of control dogs is not working and more needs to be done to punish pet owners who allow their animals to worry livestock. Police also say they want the law to be clearer and more succinct in its delivery of justice to those who own dogs guilty of worrying livestock.

“Some of the more recent cases have been so distressing that it would be beyond the limits of taste to publish pictures of the damage caused by out of control dogs. It involves hundreds of sheep in all parts of Scotland, and one study by an UK All Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare found an estimated 15,000 sheep were killed by dogs in one year, putting the cost to the farming sector at least £1.6m.”

John Fyall, chair of the National Sheep Association Scotland, comments: “Although the financial impact of worrying can be critical to farmers, it is not the first thought. When you have to deal with a field of traumatised and injured stock, you feel sick to the bottom of your guts.

“It is horrific. But it feels just as bad picking up a dead dog because an owner lost control. Some dogs are let run and unsupervised, but others are normally well-behaved dogs. Some breeds are more prone, but any dogs are capable, especially when more than one.”

Editor, Ken Fletcher, adds: “The last thing a farmer wants to do is to exercise his right to shoot dogs that are worrying his livestock and so that is why we are urging responsible dog owners to stand up and be counted. Let us be clear, there is no such things as a bad dog, only irresponsible owners.”

To voice your support for this campaign, visit, the results from which will be taken to Government to help formulate new legislation which aims to curb the increase in livestock worrying by out-of-control dogs and their owners.

Additionally, we are asking those with livestock to fill in an online survey so that we can better ascertain the hidden losses that never end up in court, or initiate an insurance claim. You can do this by following this link


The Scottish Farmer is based in Scotland, covering industry news from across Britain and overseas, and is distributed throughout the UK. The magazine is published by Glasgow-based Herald and Times Group, publishers of The Herald, Evening Times, Sunday Herald, The National, and the s1 portfolio.

This campaign will be available to view both in print and online, you can additionally show your support by using any of the attached marketing materials and referencing The Scottish Farmer and NFU Scotland as the key partners. For any social media activity both parties should be tagged as partners in the post and we would encourage you to use the hashtag #TakeALead.

Attached you will find a copy of our campaign adverts and The Scottish Farmer logo for use.

The Scottish Farmer can also be found on Facebook and Twitter

For more information on The Scottish Farmer or to find out more about marketing opportunities, please contact Hollie Henderson, marketing executive, on 0141 302 7734 or

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Contact: Hollie Henderson