Bid for dedicated dog field in Perthshire after attacks on deer

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Dog attacks on wildlife in Perthshire have led to a businesswoman’s bid to set up a secure dog exercise area.

Planning permission has been submitted for a “dog field” in Rattray, which would allow owners to give their pets freedom to run around in a specially enclosed area.

Landowner Georgia Garside came up with the idea after at least three deer were killed on her farm by loose dogs.

She has set aside three acres at South Littleton farm, which will be split into two separate areas, one for small dogs and one for larger breeds.

The entire area would be surrounded by a high fence and native trees, and a special dog waste bin would be provided.

In an application to Perth and Kinross Council she said: “Dog fields is a comparatively new movement, the product of dog ownership and the difficulty that dog owners have in exercising their dogs and finding secure areas where their dog can run free.

“Last year dog walking businesses were walking multiple dogs loose on or surrounding the property. These dogs (up to 10 loose) have killed at least three deer. This is a serious concern for the land owners and a danger to local wildlife and livestock.

“Blairgowrie Dog Park would be a safe environment for dog walking businesses and dog owners to let their dog off the lead in a controlled environment.”

Ms Garside added that she planned to offer group sessions, as well as the services of a canine behaviourist to deal with problematic dogs.

She also believes he scheme would boost dog tourism to the local area.

The council is currently considering the application.

Perth and Kinross’s first dog field, which was also among the first in Scotland, opened near Luncarty in 2015.

Wishie’s Meadow was set up by canine behaviourist Abbie Withers, who was inspired to start the venture after becoming concerned at a rising number of animals who could not be easily walked after being attacked.

She was particularly horrified by an incident where a Chihuahua was almost decapitated by a Staffordshire bull terrier on the North Inch the previous year.

There are a number of private dog parks in England and dedicated dog zones are popular in the United States.

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