Sir, – It's good to see that the NFUS is reaching out to non members, but I would add a word of caution to these prospective members – you may not get the support that you seek, as they are certainly not there to help when the brown stuff hits the rotary cooling device.

It has been my experience that they have a profound dislike for supporting individuals in real crisis. As for what they're doing to take action against irresponsible dog owners who allow their pets to attack sheep in the Lenzie area, where the dog owner plead guilty to allowing his dogs to attack sheep. The pitiful fine which the owner received would in no way recover the lost stock, vets bills and stress to the farmer.

Isn't it about time that the NFUS assisted the farmer in taking a private prosecution to get full compensation for his losses, which could run into thousands of pounds.

They may say they can't fight every single case but by setting a precedence in such a blatant case, it may give other irresponsible dog owners pause for thought and this may help protect other farmers from the same unacceptable lack of justice.

This would be action that would demonstrate quite clearly that we have a union that is willing to fight. A good example of what a strong organisation can do is when Chris Packham and his group Wild Justice, put in a legal challenge and this was enough for Natural England to overreact and introduce a stricter licence for the control of predatory birds.

We need more than ever for the NFUS to be prepared to take on the same sort of challenges, but I agree that they have to fight battles they can win, but not fighting any seems to be the option that they have chosen.

As an ex-member of the NFUS I'd have no hesitation of re-joining if the union showed the slightest bit of willingness to fight. Right now, they're an organisation that holds about as much fear as a sheep in a sheep's clothing.

Sandy McCreath

Newtonhill Farm,


Newton Stewart.