DOG walkers in Helensburgh are being urged to make sure their pets don't attack livestock in the area.

The warning comes as lambing season gets under way at farms across Scotland.

Dog owners found guilty of allowing their pets to worry or attack livestock can now be fined up to £40,000 and face up to 12 months in prison.

Laws introduced in 2021 also widen the definition of 'livestock' to include cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses, camelids, and other animals and game birds.

PC Laura Evans, Police Scotland's Argyll and West Dunbartonshire partnerships and preventions officer, said: “It is important for dog owners to be aware that livestock are valuable assets and any harm to them could significantly affect the livestock owners livelihood. 

“There's a number of things dog owners and walkers can do to reduce the chances of their dog committing a livestock attack or worrying crime.

“When you are out with your dog, be wary of your dog approaching other animals.

“Try to stop your dog coming into contact with livestock.

"Remember, in the countryside, it may not always be obvious when animals are around so remain vigilant and remember that it’s your dog, your responsibility.”

The National Farmers Union Scotland, in partnership with Police Scotland's Argyll and West Dunbartonshire division, have produced fence posters which aim to educate dog walkers on their responsibilities - and on the punishments available.

Those with livestock in fields used by dog walkers can request copies of the posters from