NFU Scotland is urging members of the public to clean up after their dogs when walking on or near to agricultural land.

Parasites found in some dog faeces can result in the abortions of cattle and death in sheep.

The two diseases of particular concern that can be spread by faeces on farmland are neosporosis and sarcocystosis. Neospora eggs are produced by infected dogs and excreted in their faeces and is thought to be responsible for the highest percentage of all cattle abortions reported in the UK. Sarcocystosis is also caused by the eggs of parasites excreted in dog faeces.

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Market round-up

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 197 store heifers at Ayr on Thursday to a top of £1200 per head and 251.6p per kg to average £859.37 and 215.9p (no change on the fortnight), while 407 store, beef-bred bullocks peaked at £1350 and 284.5p to level at £891.95 and 220.1p (-8.1p). Sixty-four store, dairy-bred bullocks sold to £820 and 177.5p to average £741.56 and 153.6p (+6.7p).

Harrison & Hetherington Ltd had 359 store cattle forward at their fortnightly sale in St Boswells on Thursday when heifers sold to 249.2p and averaged 215.7p (-5.8p), while bullocks peaked at 279.4p and levelled at 232.2p (+10.1p).

C&D Auction Marts Ltd had a huge offering of 7012 prime hoggs forward at their weekly sale in Longtown on Thursday, that included the firm's annual show and sale of Cheviots. There was an impressive turnout for the show, with over 800 hoggs forward in pens of 20 for judging (32 pens of Hill Cheviots and 9 of North Country Cheviots).

The champion pen of Hill Cheviots, that scaled 52kg each, was shown by Messrs Carruthers, Woodhall, Annan and went on to fetch £90 each. The reserve ticket in this section was awarded to Messrs Hume, Sundhope, Yarrow for his pen that scaled 39kg and sold for £76.

In the North Country section the champion ticket was won by far-travelled supporters of the mart, Messrs Conon Brae Farms, Torgorm, Dingwall for 42kg hoggs that fetched £75, while the reserve went to local consignor Messrs Eastham, Longburgh Fauld with a pen scaling 47kg that realised £80.

The overall weekly sale was topped at £115 per head and 282p per kg by Beltex on both occasions and averaged 168.8p (+2p on the week).

The firm also had 3991 cast sheep forward when heavy ewes sold to £150 for a pen of Texels and averaged £82.49 (+£3.03), while light ewes peaked at £78 for Lleyns and levelled at £44.50 (+£2.43). Rams sold to £118 for a Texel and averaged £69.37.