Controlling dogs

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I have noted with some anxiety the correspondence relating to pet dogs running on the hills or in fields where there is agricultural stock. Since the Land Reform Act’s passage this has taken on quite horrendous proportions.

Walkers in the countryside are one thing, but that right is granted in law only when they behave responsibly. Walking with loose dogs is quite another thing.

A pregnant ewe, or a cow or ewe defending its calf or lamb, or a deer or hare or nesting bird is quite unaware of whether a dog is “under control” or not. Its fear or aggressive response to a potential predator is inherent. This behaviour may be triggered even by a dog on a lead.

The resolution is simple: non-working dogs should not be taken where there are agricultural stock or breeding game and wildlife. The cost is too great.

D Ogilvie

Near Hawick