POLICE officers in the Scottish Borders say that they continue to receive complaints regarding live stock offences.

Livestock attacks and worrying is when a dog attacks or worries livestock animals in rural and farmland areas.

Whilst many owners are unaware of their dogs' impact on livestock, it is their responsibility to ensure attacks and worrying don't happen. Even dogs who are well trained can worry livestock.

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Officers have provided a number of examples of livestock worrying which include:

A dog chasing livestock in a manner that could cause injury or suffering,

Stress caused to the animal by the presence of the dog could, in the case of female livestock, cause abortion or miscarriage,

Livestock becoming desperate in their attempts to escape and injure themselves in doing so,

Dogs who chase ewes or lambs may cause them to separate from their mothers, later dying of starvation or hyperthermia.

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The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2021 came into force on November 5 2021 to tackle the issue of out-of-control dogs attacking and worrying livestock.

Under this law, the term "livestock" is wide-ranging and includes cattle, sheep, goats, swine (pigs/boars), horses, camelids (alpacas/lamas), ostriches, farmed deer, enclosed game birds or poultry.

Under this new law, owners of dogs that attack or worry livestock can be fined up to £40,000 or even sent to prison for up to 12 months.

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A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “When in the countryside, be wary of your dog approaching other animals.

“Try to stop your dog from coming into contact with livestock. Remember, in the countryside, it may not always be obvious when animals are around.”