ICSA sheep chair, Sean McNamara, has called for tougher livestock protection legislation to be introduced to combat the ongoing scourge of dog attacks.
He made the appeal in light of new legislation in Scotland that provides for fines of up to £40,000.
Scourge of dog attacks
Dog owners can now be fined up to £40,000 or jailed for a maximum of a year.
The Scottish livestock worrying bill extends the definition of livestock to include llamas, alpacas, and buffaloes.
The parliament agreed to pass the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill in March of this year.
He said it provides additional powers to investigate and enforce the offence of livestock worrying. This is which is “precisely what is now needed in this country”.
“This week, I witnessed the aftermath of a particularly distressing incident involving cattle who fled into a bog to escape from a number of marauding dogs.”
“These cattle became trapped in the bog water. Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, not all of them could be saved.”
“The whole episode has had a devastating impact on the farmer concerned. The dog owners involved were too complacent about where their dogs were and what they were doing.” We see year after year the problem is not going away.”
Furthermore, he said campaigns aimed at raising the awareness of dog ownership around livestock are proving “woefully inadequate”.
“We also have a range of slap on the wrist type-penalties, which certainly do not act as any deterrent.”
“It is time for our legislators to get tougher on this issue and set about legislating for the sort of fines that are commensurate with the amount of needless damage being done.”
Marts ‘the best option for many’ as cattle remain scarce
Earlier this year, the farm group said that livestock marts are “the best option for many” as cattle remain scarce.
The group said that the opportunity is there for farmers to “chase a decent price” through whatever means possible.