Visitors to a sprawling Fife estate have been urged once again to keep their dogs on leads after a sheep was badly injured over the weekend.
Landowners at Falkland Estate said the animal, which was found on East Lomond on Saturday, had clearly been chased, attacked and was in shock when it was discovered, and prompted yet another desperate appeal from the Falkland Estate Centre for Stewardship for pet owners to act responsibility when out and about in the countryside.
“Another distressed and injured sheep has been found on the East Lomond Hill, close to Falkland/the Leslie Road,” the centre confirmed on social media.
“Injured by a dog. Again.
“How many times does it need said? If you are out with your dog and there are livestock around, keep your dog under control and the simplest way to do that is put your dog on a lead.”
The incident is just the latest in a string of attacks on sheep and other livestock on the Falkland Estate, with the frequency of incidents in 2020 giving local farmers real cause for concern.
Signage is posted in various areas and there have been suggestions any further escalation in such incidents could see popular walking spots more closely monitored or even fenced off.
The Centre for Stewardship said it was “only good fortune” that the sheep was found, as it was in a fairly remote spot when a couple of teenagers spotted the animal in distress.
The sheep was taken back to its farm and was said to be “in a very bad way”, with graphic pictures circulating on local social media pages of the sheep’s terrible injuries.
Among the dozens of Facebook messages posted in condemnation of the latest incident was one from Kathryn Neale, an artist who makes glass pieces from her studio on the back road from Leslie to Falkland.
“This is not on!” she stressed.
“Most of these sheep are pregnant. You would not like this to happen to your lovely pet dog.”
And Marie Maher described the incident as “incredibly sad”.
“I know a lot of dog owners think their dog is ‘well behaved’, ‘well trained’, ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly’ or ‘only trying to be friendly’,” she noted.
“But a dog is an animal and unpredictable.”