Support for livestock worrying offences to include enclosed gamebirds in Scotland

The UK’s largest shooting organisation has backed a Scottish Parliament bill which seeks to extend the offence of livestock worrying to include enclosed gamebirds.  

The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill introduced by Emma Harper MSP seeks to introduce tougher penalties for livestock worrying as well as extending the offence to include an up to date list of species that are farmed. Another provision within the bill will empower Ministers to appoint inspecting bodies other than the police for investigation and enforcement.

BASC’s political and press officer in Scotland, Ross Ewing, said: “Following consultation with members, BASC’s submission of evidence to the Scottish Parliament is fully supportive of extending the offence of livestock worrying to include enclosed gamebirds. Our submission contains a raft of practitioner evidence of enclosed gamebird worrying by dogs – tougher penalties are required to tackle this unacceptable behaviour. “BASC does not support the appointment of inspecting bodies other than the police to investigate or enforce incidences of worrying. There remain concerns about the partiality of certain bodies, some of which have expressed biased views about legitimate and legal practices associated with gamekeeping in the past. We are unconvinced that an incident of gamebird worrying, for example, would be investigated objectively.”