Scottish Liberal Democrat and Isles representative Beatrice Wishart MSP has quizzed the Scottish Government on action it can take to ensure the welfare of ‘latchkey’ dogs. These dogs are able to escape from private gardens leaving them at increased risk of dognapping and in some cases are responsible for livestock worrying without the knowledge of the owner.
The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs responded that she would be happy to correspond with Ms Wishart on the subject. The Cabinet Secretary also stated the importance and legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped.
Last September Wishart raised the issue of irresponsible dog owners and livestock worrying in the Rural Affairs Committee. Wishart was told the best means to ensure a well-trained dog was to place a lead on them in public alongside oral training.
After the session Ms Wishart said:
“There are many responsible dog owners out there but it only takes one irresponsible one to have a devastating impact on livestock.
“It is distressing for the animals, and distressing for crofters and farmers who have to deal with the aftermath.
“I support more education about the problem. Some dog owners don’t realise the impact there can be on a flock of pregnant ewes simply by walking near them with a dog.
“We must tackle this issue from all possible angles which is of particular significance during the approaching lambing season. ”
Notes to Editors
You can read more about Ms Wishart’s question from September here.
Ms Wishart’s question can be seen here.