People convicted of livestock worrying could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and given a fine of £40,000 under tough new legislation in Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament passed an amendment to the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Bill, brought forward by Emma Harper MSP. The legislation, which will come in later this year, will significantly increase the powers of investigation and penalties to tackle the ongoing blight of dog attacks on livestock.

NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy said: “As someone who has seen several dog attacks on my sheep in the past, the pain and suffering of animals is dreadful to see. The cost to livestock owners is often high, both financially and emotionally, and such attacks are easily avoidable by dog owners acting responsibly around livestock.”