A north-east MSP has praised a new livestock worrying bill brought to parliament.
The Livestock Worrying – Dogs (Protection of Livestock)(Amendment)(Scotland) Bill was brought forward by MSP Emma Harper, and is to progress shortly through parliament.
It would increase the maximum penalty for livestock worrying by dogs to a fine of up to £5,000 or imprisonment for six months for owners.
It also widens the definition of worrying to including chasing, attacking and killing livestock to make the offence clearer.
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Peter Chapman, north-east MSP and Scottish Conservative shadow minister for the rural economy, said: “It is my hope that existing powers can be strengthened so that irresponsible owners can be dealt with properly.
“Right now, police charge a very small number of offenders, and fines dished out by courts are nowhere near enough to compensate farmers for their losses.
“Any new bill should look to protect farmers and their animals, give police more leeway in collecting evidence, and up fines for people who break the law.”