New figures from NFU Scotland show cases of livestock worrying (where an animal is hurt or killed by a dog) in Lothian and Borders is one of the highest in Scotland and has nearly trebled since 2010.
The figures, provided in response to a Freedom of Information Request, show that in 2016 in the Lothians and Scottish Borders there were 27 incidents of livestock worrying, up from 11 in 2010. The 2016 figure is the second highest in Scotland and represents 1 in 6 of all cases.
Ahead of the lambing season, local MSP John Lamont is urging dog walkers to be responsible to try to tackle this issue which can have a devastating consequence for farmers.
John Lamont MSP said: “Having sheep harmed or killed is a massive blow for farmers and incidents like this cause financial loss and stress for the livestock. These figures are certainly concerning. They show a huge increase in incidents and that they are happening in the Lothians and Borders far too often.
“That is why I am joining in calls for dog walkers to behave responsibly, particularly in the run up to lambing season. This means avoiding fields where very young livestock, or heavily pregnant ewes are present, and if there is no alternative route, keeping dogs on a lead or under close control.
“The NFU are right to highlight this issue and work with others to raise awareness amongst dog owners, the vast majority of which are responsible.”