A FARMER is warning pet owners of the horrors dog attacks can have on the animals and their livelihood.

John Rowell is begging countryside visitors to be more responsible around farms after losing hundreds of pounds from dogs stressing his animals.

Working at Dumfr ies House he is in the middle of lambing season and doesn’t want any lives to be lost as result of livestock worrying.

It comes as Ayrshire police launch a campaign to educate Scots on how to avoid brutal attacks and save more animals.

John wants people to know the dog doesn’t have to actually maul sheep to create tragic consequences, the stress from being chased alone can cause the livestock to instantly miscarry.

Cumnock Chronicle:

This can be traumatic for the animal and costs the farmer hundreds of pounds and forces them to wait a year until next lambing season.

It can also cause infections in the sheep and make them really ill.

He said: “Stress is really bad for the animals it really worries them and can cause them to abort their babies.

“Everyone thinks their dog would never do that but that’s what dogs do, it’s instinct especially during lambing season.

"It’s not the dogs’ fault. The owners need to take all the precautions they can.”

Dog owners are now being reminded that their pet could be killed if found sheep worrying.

But John doesn’t want people to be discouraged from visiting the estate of countryside but thinks it could help if more people were aware of the issue.

He added: “We do want people to be encouraged to come to the countryside and enjoy the estate here at Dumfries House and the countryside but they need to be aware of what is around them.

“You need to respect the farmers – this is our livelihood.

“Dogs can get hurt themselves, for example the cows can be really protective of their babies so if they feel bad they will attack the dog, I’ve seen it happen before, it’s not nice.

Cumnock Chronicle:

“We are in the middle of lambing season the now so we really want to raise awareness about this.”

Alister Orr, 41, a farmer from Cumnock , East Ayrshire, said: “The sheep, especially at this time of year, are heavily pregnant , carrying anything between one and three lambs.

"Even the simplest thing, such as a dog running freely, is enough to disturb the ewes and cause them to run. The impact in a few minutes can be devastating.

“The countryside is a great place to be, I work in it every day and I love it to bits. It’s good for yourself, it’s good for your dogs, it’s good for your children.

“My advice for dog owners is that, for your own safety and for the protection of livestock, be responsible and stick to the guidelines.”