Appeal for information after lambs killed and injured in Kelty

Sheep and lamb on heather covered hill
Alan Robertson

Police Scotland are appealing for information after 16 lambs were killed and four were injured in a field in Kelty.

The incident happened at Blairadam Farm between 10.30am and 1.30pm on Monday, 3 April, 2023.

Officers believe the lambs were attacked by at least one dog, and are appealing to anyone who may have been in the area at the time to get in touch. The estimated value of the damage is around £7000.

Six lambs were found dead on the farm, and 10 were so severely injured they had to be put down.

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.”

This is the second lambing period since tougher legislation for livestock attacks under the new Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2021 has been in force. Dog owners could face up to a £40,000 fine or even be sent to prison - or both - for allowing their dog to attack or worry farmed animals, including alpacas and game birds.

A recent survey, carried out by NFU Scotland, of more than 1,100 dog owners found that despite 64% of owners admitting their dogs chased other animals, almost half of those (46%) believe their dog is not capable of injuring or killing livestock.

Scottish Land & Estates is one of the partners in a campaign with Police Scotland to promote the key message ‘Your Dog – Your Responsibility’. SLE said dog owners and land managers could take steps to minimise the risk of livestock attacks or worrying from taking place.

Simon Ovenden, Policy Adviser (Access and Visitor Management) at Scottish Land & Estates, said:

“Visitors, including dog owners and walkers, are very much welcomed by communities and businesses in rural Scotland as Spring and Summer gets underway. It is, however, the period when the risk of livestock worrying and attacks is at its greatest and there can be no complacency by dog owners as to the risks posed in our countryside.

Such incidents are not the dog’s fault, but that of the owner, and declaring that a dog has never acted in such a manner previously is of no importance when dealing with the aftermath of an attack on livestock. Dog walkers should enjoy rural Scotland but with care and caution practised at all times.”

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

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