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Thread: Local farmer shot my mate's cockers

  1. #1

    Angry Local farmer shot my mate's cockers

    A mate in the village has had both his cockers shot by a local farmer for "sheep worrying".

    The dogs were biddable, trained dogs who got out of the garden and into the field behind the house. There were sheep with lambs in the field. The farmer shot one at enough range for the shot to spread, the other was at v close range (single entry wound, massive exit.)

    He made no effort to contact my mate afterwards- it was only after my mate put the word around that the dogs were missing that it all came out. The bodies were left in a ditch (they had collars with contact details on.)

    My mate isn't an ignorant townie, he's a country lad and knows a farmer has the right to shoot dogs to protect livestock as a last resort, but this farmer is somewhat notorious locally. I doubt any effort was made to call them off but of course, no witnesses... I'm sceptical these dogs would've been chasing sheep, let alone "worrying" them. In the past, I've been inclined to side with the farmer in these circumstances but knowing the dogs and the farmer, I'm seeing things in a different light.

    Lots of ill-feeling round here about this.

  2. #2
    Did the farmer report the shooting to the police ?

  3. #3
    I think a storm is coming.

  4. #4
    I know a farmer done something very similar to that in dubious circumstances and still a lot of hostillity between him and the owner (who had history with the farmer) and other villagers, his gates do seem to get left open an awful lot too, and he has more punctures than normal driving up his farm road.

    While i feel sorry for ur mate it is also impossible to say they weren't 'worrying' or atleast chasing sheep, dogs will behave in a very different manner when on there own and esp if 2 of them, possibly more so with hunting dogs as the hunting urge will take over and they will encourage each other too.
    If dogs were chasing sheep it would be very hard for a stranger to call them off anyway, the chase will be self rewarding and i doubt even the owner could call them off if they were enjoying the chase

    Don't think the farmer has to notify owners (althou it may be courtesy, althou with some owners might not be a good idea) but he does have to contact the police within 24hrs

  5. #5
    Hi Dogs running about in a field with sheep and lambs, farmer comes across this only one outcome I'm afraid.

  6. #6
    The following makes for interesting reading from a legal standpoint for both sides:

  7. #7
    I'm sorry about the deaths of the two dogs. I suspect your mate loved we all do. They become members of our families.

    Ive been in a similar situation but I was the one advised to shoot the dog by the police. We gave warnings but to no avail. Sometimes you have no choice and are are faced with a horrible situation. The farmer/ tenant is within his/her right to shoot the dog without warning, notice or preamble. Unfortunately "last resort" doesn't come into it. Below from the 1953 act.

    Penalty where dog worries livestock on agricultural land.

    Subject to the provisions of this section, if a dog worries livestock on any agricultural land, the owner of the dog, and, if it is in the charge of a person other than its owner, that person also, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

    For the purposes of this Act worrying livestock means—

    attacking livestock, or

    chasing livestock in such a way as may reasonably be expected to cause injury or suffering to the livestock or, in the case of females, abortion, or loss of or diminution in their produce.

    being at large (that is to say not on a lead or otherwise under close control) in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep]

  8. #8
    Very sorry to hear about this, I hope that your friend gets a satisfactory response from your local constabulary.

    The farmer certainly would have committed an offense by shooting these dogs. Firstly under the Criminal Damage Act you can damage property belonging to another if you are protecting your own property. You do however have to believe said property to be in immediate danger. Even a dog chasing a sheep without it showing signs of attacking it or causing it to die of exhaustion is not necessarily likely to harm the animal in any way. I hate to refer to a dog in this way (property) but that is how they are regarded in law.

    I fear it would be difficult to have the farmer prosecuted for such an act without anyone actually witnessing the shooting. He can simply say that the dogs were worrying his livestock and that would constitute reasonable doubt regarding the offense.

    I think your best chance of a criminal conviction would be an animal cruelty charge. Shooting a dog with a shotgun at long range is unlikely to be considered to be a humane way to kill it. Again however, the farmer might well claim to have not shot the dogs, and that they were dumped there by someone else.

    Getting his shotgun certificate revoked would be a definite possibility regardless of criminal convictions. I imagine firearms licensing will take a very dim view of such actions, and likely look into to revoking his certificate. If he had used a rifle it would have been a straightforward breach of his FAC terms. Regardless, Police should be contacted and will advise as to the best course of action; the FLD will certainly be interested to hear of such reckless behavior.

    Edit: Correct me if I am wrong but the Protection of Livestock Act 1953 only defines offenses of letting dogs worry livestock, it does not provide any legal justification for a farmer shooting dogs.

    I would like to add that as a farmer myself I would only consider such an action under extreme circumstances. Namely if there was a large dog chasing/attacking sheep and I felt that I would be unable to do anything about it without being attacked myself. Also I would need to see sheep already dead/injured due to the attack.
    Last edited by carper99; 08-06-2015 at 20:53.

  9. #9
    No matter the legality of this event, nothing causes bad blood like shooting someone's dog.

    The value of a few sheep aren't worth it.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  10. #10
    Think this covers it .a farmer on which land I shoot over had a dog worrying his livestock and when we read in to it there's not a lot can be done unless the dog owner is known and legal proceedings against him as he is breaking the law as is the farmer who shoots a dog with out the condition on his certificate Whats the law on dogs worrying sheep? - Shooting UK

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