Scotland saw only seven convictions for livestock worrying at a time when 159 offences were logged by Police Scotland – with Ministers suggesting court backlogs and social distancing measures were to blame.

Parliamentary answers obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have shown there were 414 cases under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act over the past two and a half years.

But only seven of these resulted in convictions out of 159 cases in 2021/22, the latest conviction data available.

Responding to Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett, junior justice minister Angela Constance said the data was “affected by the pandemic, subsequent court closures, reduced court capacity due to physical distancing measures and delays to cases where key participants were forced to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid-19.”

All offences were recorded under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 so the number of incidents may be higher.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Health Matters

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