Successful partnership working between Argyll and Bute Council and Police Scotland, which secured a conviction following a horrific livestock attack last year, has led to improved working practices which could be shared throughout Scotland.
Graham Hatton, from the Council and Constable Ben Rusden, from MAKI Police, are attending the Scottish Parliament to share their experience of how, with support from SSPCA and local farmers, they successfully tracked the out of control dogs, gathered the evidence and took the owner to court. They will be joined by Brian Walker, the farmer whose flock sustained the dreadful attack.
The campaign has widened to provide farmers with signage instructing dog owners to keep their pets under control. Leaflets have also been shared for stock owners advising them on how to preserve evidence in the event of a sheep worrying incident and specific training will be provided for police officers in dealing with livestock attacks.
The campaign has been developed by the Council, Police, NFU and SSPCA and has been supported by local vets and businesses. The local campaign runs alongside the SPARC (Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime) national livestock worrying campaign.
Information is being shared through social media, local press and it is hoped to develop events with local interest groups and the farming community.
Mid Argyll and Kintyre Area Inspector Julie McLeish said “I would like to thank local farmer Brian Walker for his support for this campaign and championing it amongst his peers following the savage attack that took place on his flock caused by two large dogs that were uncontrolled.
“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. I look forward to this partnership continuing in the future.”
Councillor Roddy McCuish, Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, said: “The council is delighted to be part of this initiative and to share our experience with others. We must prevent livestock worrying and remind dog owners to be responsible for their pets. Dogs must be under control at all times and should be on a lead when near farm animals. Even the most placid family pet can chase, injure and kill livestock and this is particularly concerning during lambing season. ”