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Dogwalkers Given Pre-Lambing Warning

06 March 2015

SCOTLAND – Scottish veterinarians are warning dog owners of the devastation their pets can cause to flocks of sheep if not kept under close control as spring approaches.

Scotland’s Rural College has said that, if possible, dogs should not go near sheep at all.

Dog owner vigilance means paying attention to signs placed beside footpaths and gates, explained the SRUC.

In a statement, the college said: “If entering a field of sheep keep dogs on a short lead (two metres or less) or close at heel. Walk a good distance from the livestock. The same applies on more open moorland or hills with sheep or cattle about.”

Aberdeen vet, Hannah Orr, said dogs can cause “horrific injuries” and stress to ewes and lambs.

“The majority of owners are very responsible and would not knowingly allow their pets to distress or injure livestock,” said Mrs Orr. “But you can never tell what might happen and it is best to take extra care at this time of year.

“If a dog does not obey an owner’s call to come back, or the owner isn’t present the dog’s next move may be to physically attack and even kill sheep.”

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