§ 25. Mr. J. MacLeod
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement on the representations made to him by the county councils of Scotland regarding sheep worrying by dogs.
Over the past few years representations have been received from county councils in Scotland about losses from sheep worrying with suggestions as to measures that might be taken to improve the position. The main suggestions are that the restrictions on dogs which can at present be imposed by local authorities during the hours of darkness should be extended to day-time particularly in the vicinity of land used for grazing; that licence duty should be increased; that fewer exemptions from 3W licence duty should be granted; that there should be more police supervision and increased penalties for infringements of the law; and that farmers should have the right to shoot on sight dogs worrying their sheep. The county councils are, however, by no means unanimous in their views. All the various suggestions have been very carefully considered, but, while I realise the importance of reducing sheep worrying to a minimum, I do not think that the adoption of any of the proposals so far made would provide a practicable and effective solution of the problem.