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Sheep worrying and the law

Please could you keep your dog on a lead whilst in fields, particularly this time of year when ewes are lambing.

A person in charge of a dog worrying livestock - Legislation Contrary to section 1(1)and (6) of the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953.

It is every dog's instinct to chase, even if they are usually obedient and good with other animals.

Chasing by dogs can do serious damage to sheep, even if the dog doesn't catch them. The stress of worrying by dogs can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs.

Dog bites can cause death in sheep, or in less severe cases considerable veterinary bills and additional welfare.

It is an offence to allow a dog to worry sheep. Worrying includes attacking or chasing sheep and, in some circumstances, farmers are legally entitled to shoot dogs if they are endangering their sheep.

It is vital that you keep your dog on the lead around livestock, even if you can usually trust it to come to call. If you live in or near a farming area, you must make sure that your dog cannot escape from your property, as it may find its way onto land containing sheep.

Published 27/04/16