WITH sheep worrying incidents showing no signs of lessening, some Scottish farmers are asking the question, if our livestock are attacked, why isn’t more being done about it in the aftermath?

Robert Blyth, who farms at Harstonehill Farm at Waterloo, near Wishaw lost four sheep to a dog attack back in October 2018 and, having heard nothing from Police Scotland since, recently contacted the Procurator Fiscal, only to be told that they were taking the case no further.

Mr Blyth, who runs 300 sheep in total, explained: “I has chased the police to see what was happening but got nowhere, so eventually I contacted Hamilton Court Procurator Fiscal directly, only to be told that they were not continuing to look into the case.

“They didn’t offer me any explanation as to why, just said that as far as they were concerned, the case was closed. I’ve not had any resolution, or compensation, so as far as I’m concerned, the case is far from closed!”

Nine months ago, Mr Blyth was alerted to an attack on his Texel ewes when a local man came to tell him. Mr Blyth rushed to the scene, where one ewe was already dead, and another was still under attack by two dogs – an Akita and a Malamut.

He shot the two dogs to stop the continuing attack, and duly called both the police and local vets.

The dogs were identified through their microchips, and the local police brought their owner to the scene.

“She was understandable upset,” explained Mr Blyth, but I wouldn’t have shot the dogs if I’d had any choice. I showed her the destruction her dogs had caused.

“In hindsight, I should have asked her for her name and details, but in the stress of the situation, I didn’t and when I later asked the police, they wouldn’t give me any information, citing data protection.

“They had brought her to my farm though, she had all my details!”

Mr Blyth also found out that the same dogs had been chasing local cattle a week earlier and had had to be shut in a stable until their owner collected them.

“I think that’s the most annoying part,” he said, “if something more had been done then, my whole situation possibly could have been avoided.

As well as the ewe that was already dead, the vet had to euthanise three further Texel ewes. Mr Blyth got them valued by a representative from Lawrie and Symington and kept all the vet paperwork proving why they had to be put to sleep, but has never seen any compensation on the matter, and is still sitting out of pocket.

He concluded: “We’ve had problems with sheep worrying historically – we live quite close to the village – but we’d had nothing for a few years. I feel like the situation really hasn’t been dealt with at all. There has been no punishment for the owner of the dogs, and I’ve seen no financial compensation for my lost stock, or vet bills.

“I would be really keen to know why the police and Procurator Fiscal have washed their hands of the situation. They’ve given us zero explanation and to me, that’s just not good enough.”

Hamilton Court Procurator Fiscal were contacted for comment, but as The Scottish Farmer went to press, had failed to provide one.