East Lothian crime: Police investigating after dogs seen chasing pregnant sheep near Dunbar

An incident of sheep-worrying in East Lothian has been reported to police.

Two dogs were spotted chasing pregnant sheep in Barns Ness, near Dunbar, on Friday, January 20. A member of the public alerted East Lothian Council, who in turn reported the incident to local police.

While the sheep appeared uninjured, there is concern that they could abort their lambs due to the stress caused by the dogs.

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Countryside rangers working for East Lothian Council urged local dog owners to be responsible, writing: “Allowing your dog to chase or attack sheep is a criminal offence. Your dog should be under close control at all times. If you cannot guarantee that your dog will respond to command then it should be on a lead.

East Lothian Council have reported an incident of livestock worrying to police.

“These sheep are pregnant and whilst it appears that they didn’t sustain any physical injuries, there is still the possibility that they could abort from stress. Not only is this horrific for the sheep, but these sheep and lambs are also someone’s livelihood.

They added: “Your dog doesn’t know any better. Make sure you do.”

Following the incident, a spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “We received a report around 11.25am on Friday, 20 January, 2023 of sheep worrying in the Barns Ness area. Enquiries are ongoing.”

In February last year, several cases of sheep worrying in the Barns Ness area were reported. After new legislation was passed in 2021, dog owners responsible for livestock worrying now face a fine of up to £40,000 or 12 months in prison.

Dog owners have been urged to keep their pets under control after reports of sheep-worrying in East Lothian. (Photo credit: East Lothian Council Countryside Rangers)