Dog owners warned to keep pets under control after 20 lambs killed

Police urge dog owners to keep their pets under control near livestock following incident at Blairadam Forest in Fife.

Dog owners have been warned to keep their pets under control in the countryside after 20 lambs were killed in a Fife field.

The appeal comes after a dog attacked and killed the lambs after entering a farm near Blairadam Forest on April 3.

Fife Council and Police Scotland have joined forces with partner agencies to urge dog walkers to be responsible when in rural areas.

Jacqui Leigh, from Safer Communities Fife, told STV News: “I think the majority of dog walkers – who are responsible dog walkers, it’s just the minority (who aren’t responsible) – I think they are very, very shocked as to what has happened and there really is no need for it.

“If you’re in doubt, pop your dog on the lead. It’s not stopping its exercise.

“The community are behind the farmers in this area, it’s their livelihood at the end of the day.”

Community safety and crime prevention officer PC Ashley MacGregor is also calling on dog walkers to take steps to avoid another attack.

She said: “Be very wary where the fields are, make sure dogs are on the lead as soon as they’re getting anywhere near the field.

“It’s not just about the dogs going into the field and worrying the sheep, it’s about the dog running along the side of the field worrying the sheep.

“They’re miscarrying their lambs and if they’ve had their lambs they’re running away from the dog because they’re scared and then they’re disowning their babies.”

Police Scotland are continuing to appeal for information into the incident at Blairadam last week.

Inspector Stephen Gray said: “Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of the incident and we are appealing to anyone with information to come forward.

“The lambing season has started and worrying can cause stress to sheep that can result in them losing their lambs, as well as injuries that can lead to their death.

“All of this is at considerable cost to farmers.

“Dog owners could face prosecution if their dog attacks livestock so we are urging them to keep dogs on a lead when walking near livestock as well as making sure they do not run or escape into fields on their own.

“I am asking all dog owners to be considerate. Please remember that it is your dog and your responsibility to keep them under control.”

Anyone with any information, is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 1580 of Monday April 3, 2023.

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