New legislation to deal with dog attacks on livestock has just passed through the Scottish Parliament with unanimous cross party support.

The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill, brought forward by Emma Harper MSP, will now proceed to Royal Assent before becoming law in six months time.

Under the provisions of the new Bill, dog owners could be fined up to Β£40,000 and/or 12 months’ imprisonment for letting their dog chase or kill livestock. In addition, the 1953 UK Bill will be brought up to date to broaden the definition of livestock to include protection for more species including alpacas, llamas and buffalo.

Farmers are busy with lambing at the moment and increased footfall in the countryside is expected in the weeks ahead as Covid restrictions are reduced. Please remember that it is already a serious offence to allow your dog to worry livestock. Outdoor access rights do not apply when dogs are not under proper control.