Union’s seasonal warning over livestock and sheep

As people head out to enjoy the Deeside and Donside countryside this spring, NFU Scotland is reminding everyone to take special care around newborn lambs and calves and to be careful not to disturb them.

This time of year marks one of the most important and busy periods for livestock farmers, as lambing and calving is well under way.

While encouraging the public to go out and enjoy the country, the Union is asking people to be mindful of livestock and, in particular, to keep dogs well away from vulnerable young and pregnant animals.

Chairman of NFU Scotland’s Livestock Committee Chairman, and Borders livestock farmer, Rob Livesey said: “Spring is a great time to head out into the countryside and we obviously welcome responsible walkers and other recreational users who want enjoy Scotland’s outdoors. However, everyone should also be aware that spring is a particularly busy time for farmers and a critical time for newborn calves and lambs.

“The sight of young farm animals in spring is a joy shared by everyone visiting or living in the countryside, but we must protect these animals, and to do so it is essential that people follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and heed local advice from farmers.

“Farms are a place of work and livestock can be easily upset at this time of year. In particular, dogs should be kept well away from cows, which can be very protective of newborn calves. The same applies to sheep, where it is worth keeping in mind that even if no lambs are present, pregnant ewes are extremely vulnerable to being disturbed by dogs. Farmers welcome people visiting the countryside to learn more about what happens on a farm and where their food comes from and I hope that people will bear in mind how important it is to behave appropriately.”