Following a sheep worrying incident close to the Speyside Way, Kincraig, Police in Aviemore have reminded dog owners of their responsibility when walking close to livestock.

"Enjoying our countryside must be coupled with the responsibility to keep dogs on a lead and under control at all times when close to livestock in addition to leaving all gates as you find them," said the Police. "A dog attacking, chasing or even being at large in a field where sheep are grazing can lead to significant injury or sadly the sheep being killed or later destroyed.

"Taking simple and sensible steps will hopefully avoid potentially devastating consequences for the animals involved in addition to the emotional and financial impact on our local farmers."

Local MSP Kate Forbes urged dog owners to be responsible when out walking their pets, highlighting statistics from the Crown Office that the number of offences of dogs attacking livestock have increased by over 40% from 2008 to 2018. There were 28 recorded instances at Highland farms in 2018.

“Sheep worrying is an issue that affects farmers and crofters in my constituency," said Ms Forbes. "Most dog walkers are careful and caring – but sadly not all appear to be, based on the number of attacks in the Highlands – including this latest incident at Kincraig.

“The consequences of an off lead dog in a field of livestock can be devastating and traumatic for both the farmer and their animals.

“These attacks affect farmers financially and emotionally when farming is tough enough. It is thoughtless, selfish and foolish not to put a lead on a dog when near livestock.

“Anyone who witnesses such a crime should report it to police on 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.”