Dogs and Sheep - what best to do ?

thorneyglatt

Well-Known Member
#21
I know not the point but is there any obvious holes in the fence where the dog is getting in?? Roundabout its house?
I know u shouldn't have to but patching a few holes or running a roll of rabbit net out might be a quick/cheap fix and save u a load of hassle/grief.
Most dogs will know where the holes in the fence are if u fix them it might give up
I know 1 farmer shot a dog from the village, not entirely sure how legal it was (farmer a real tool anyway) but it cost the farmer, posty and delivery driver quite a few tyres


These words of Countryboy's are worth considering. Of course the law is on your side if you have to shoot the dog because there is no other way to stop it worrying them (though I believe just being in the field may not be construed as 'worrying'). But being in the right isn't the only thing that matters. What to you is just a troublesome animal is probably 'part of the family' as far as the owner is concerned. To destroy one of the family stirs far deeper feelings and resentments than simply shooting an animal to which there is no emotional attachment. The ongoing souring of relationships for years to come resulting from a hasty resorting to the 'final solution' may far outweigh the satisfaction of administering instant retribution.

Rather than being an apathetic response, it's more than likely the dog-owner was admitting that he couldn't guarantee a little dog like a terrier will never get out again. Let's just hope your conversation with him will spur him to make his garden as dog-proof as possible. I'm not saying this as some snowflake townie. I've lived in sheep-farming country for over 30 years and kept sheep myself over half that time, so I know where you're coming from, but once the trigger is pulled you can't undo it.
 

kes

Well-Known Member
#22
Thanks all for advice so far - Since the dog was only in the field and despite the sheep being forced to the far end of the field, I decided to give the owner a chance, not knowing his response then. The amazing thing is he could see it and did not recall it !
As he has grandkids who obviously know the dog, I decided (again) to warn not kill - I did tell him though that if I shot it I would be able to prove sheep worrying. The burden of proof seems unrealistic since merely being in the field causes sheep to abort and weak ones to die from heart attacks.
His view that it was ok to let his dog roam around the local fields since it was originally trained not to worry sheep has to be the most stupid thing I have heard from an ex - farmer. He didnt offer to pay for the two sheep which have died already, since I cant pin it to his dog.
I will inform the police as I said I would and check the use of S1 firearms to kill it, since I do not have the condition, only AOLQ which might be stretching it.

A shotgun is bound to fall foul of the 2006 Act in my view but again I will check. I need to be 100% right, since it seems the guy is actually watching the dog stray.

As for BASC, I would not value any advice from BASC - you would have to be very 'green' to be a member these days and I dont actually look like a cabbage.
I will probably join SACS but deal with this issue myself by checking also with NFU who are my insurers.
BASC's advice to me, even if I was a member, is more likely to be something to do with short jerky movements, although they would probably get that wrong.
 

mudman

Well-Known Member
#23
Not worth any potential hassle unless it is genuinely chasing/ attacking sheep. Hounds run though fields with sheep all the time, as do gun dogs, the sheep may be concerned enough to gather but they certainly don't roll over dead.
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
#24
Thanks all for advice so far - Since the dog was only in the field and despite the sheep being forced to the far end of the field, I decided to give the owner a chance, not knowing his response then. The amazing thing is he could see it and did not recall it !
As he has grandkids who obviously know the dog, I decided (again) to warn not kill - I did tell him though that if I shot it I would be able to prove sheep worrying. The burden of proof seems unrealistic since merely being in the field causes sheep to abort and weak ones to die from heart attacks.
His view that it was ok to let his dog roam around the local fields since it was originally trained not to worry sheep has to be the most stupid thing I have heard from an ex - farmer. He didnt offer to pay for the two sheep which have died already, since I cant pin it to his dog.
I will inform the police as I said I would and check the use of S1 firearms to kill it, since I do not have the condition, only AOLQ which might be stretching it.

A shotgun is bound to fall foul of the 2006 Act in my view but again I will check. I need to be 100% right, since it seems the guy is actually watching the dog stray.

As for BASC, I would not value any advice from BASC - you would have to be very 'green' to be a member these days and I dont actually look like a cabbage.
I will probably join SACS but deal with this issue myself by checking also with NFU who are my insurers.
BASC's advice to me, even if I was a member, is more likely to be something to do with short jerky movements, although they would probably get that wrong.
Sorry for teasing you about BASC, Kes.

Check with the coppers (and happy to be corrected by others on here) but one imagines AOLQ includes this situation so long as you comply with the rules, i.e. the dog becomes lawful quarry once you have run out of other options?

Just to reiterate, though, I don't imagine that shooting a dog just because it is on your property would be seen as acceptable.

Good luck!

Carl
 

riflerob

Well-Known Member
#25
Being in North Wales, and having had to shoot a dog that was worrying sheep a couple of years ago, I can confirm that NWP's attitude to it was 'Well done'.

In this case, as there has been contact with the dog owner, I'd inform the police of what has happened - or even send a letter to yourself, by recorded delivery, detailing what took place. In the event of a future complain being made against you, you've got pre-dated evidence of when the problem first occurred.
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
#26
Some good proper advice above from slider and vss, i'm sure i've read a link from farmers guardian and scottish farmer online too. (as not a sheep farmer so never pay that much attenton to finer legal points)
Must admit i'm not entirely sure wot exactly constitutes 'worrying' esp if he can watch/witness it from his house.
But at this time of year with ur ewes likely pregnant it wouldn't take much to cause a lot of damage.
Really wouldn't like to be u making the decision

U might need sme heavy shells if u don't already have any, but to be fair a terrier sized dog isn't much difference wieght wise to a large fox

To be honest u might be easier just checking the boundry fence nearest where the dog comes from and clipping some rabbit net on it, wouldn't take long or cost much and then means u don't have to worry about it. But that may not be possible depending on the lie of land?
While the dog may still worry livestock it most likely won't be ur's so let another farmer shoot the dog and deal with any fallout.

No matter how legal it was to shoot the dog some folk will not take it well, and could result in all sorts of damage, fences cut or gates left open etc
 

slider

Well-Known Member
#27
Definition from the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 - this applies to England and Wales but very similar law applies to Scotland.

For the purposes of this Act worrying livestock means—
(a)attacking livestock, or
(b)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.
or
(c)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.
 

baguio

Well-Known Member
#28
Definition from the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 - this applies to England and Wales but very similar law applies to Scotland.

For the purposes of this Act worrying livestock means—
(a)attacking livestock, or
(b)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.
or
(c)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.
So it would appear that the law has been written pretty well to protect the sheep farmer, with (c) giving the dog owner no room for manoeuvre or to prosecute.
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
#30
So it would appear that the law has been written pretty well to protect the sheep farmer, with (c) giving the dog owner no room for manoeuvre or to prosecute.
Before you start racking that slide, note that the 1953 Act cited above simply deals with the criminal liability of the dog owner; it does not address the circumstances under which a landowner may shoot that dog.

This latter is covered in the 1971 Animals Act which also requires that no other course of action be available.

Both pieces of legislation will also have been clarified and interpreted over the years in court judgments, the substance of which neither you nor I can divine from a simple reading of an online Act of Parliament.

Happy hunting!
 

slider

Well-Known Member
#31
And the relevant section of that Act

Killing of or injury to dogs worrying livestock.
(1)In any civil proceedings against a person (in this section referred to as the defendant) for killing or causing injury to a dog it shall be a defence to prove—
(a)that the defendant acted for the protection of any livestock and was a person entitled to act for the protection of that livestock; and
(b)that within forty-eight hours of the killing or injury notice thereof was given by the defendant to the officer in charge of a police station.
(2)For the purposes of this section a person is entitled to act for the protection of any livestock if, and only if
(a)the livestock or the land on which it is belongs to him or to any person under whose express or implied authority he is acting; and
(b)the circumstances are not such that liability for killing or causing injury to the livestock would be excluded by section 5(4) of this Act.
(3)Subject to subsection (4) of this section, a person killing or causing injury to a dog shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to act for the protection of any livestock if, and only if, either—
(a)the dog is worrying or is about to worry the livestock and there are no other reasonable means of ending or preventing the worrying; or
(b)the dog has been worrying livestock, has not left the vicinity and is not under the control of any person and there are no practicable means of ascertaining to whom it belongs.

(4)For the purposes of this section the condition stated in either of the paragraphs of the preceding subsection shall be deemed to have been satisfied if the defendant believed that it was satisfied and had reasonable ground for that belief.
(5)For the purposes of this section—
(a)an animal belongs to any person if he owns it or has it in his possession; and
(b)land belongs to any person if he is the occupier thereof.
 

Hereford

Well-Known Member
#32
I have been in this situation with a certain dog and owner straying off the footpath that crosses one of our fields. I did not shoot the dog as, after quite a bit of googling, I came to the conclusion that it could potentially jeopardise me (civilly) and my firearm/shotgun ownership (legally) - especially seeing as, like you, I put a couple of shots into the air and then ‘words’ with the owner ensued....

In the end, putting it about (down the local pub, shop, village gossips) that they were being irresponsible and causing worry and potential harm to the livestock (by not controlling their dog) exercised a good amount of peer pressure on them.

Latterly, just as an aside, putting up Neosporosis information signs has also helped with owners picking up and also keeping their dogs on the lead (as requested on the stile notices both ends of the footpath) - although I think the thought of their dog carrying a disease is the catalyst rather than transmittal causing harm....

As another last resort (and from experience), get yourself to market and buy yourself the most cantankerous Suffolk tup you can find - he should be going for a song and would hopefully provide some joy in witnessing him butt the offending mutt!
 

kes

Well-Known Member
#33
Sorry for teasing you about BASC, Kes.

Check with the coppers (and happy to be corrected by others on here) but one imagines AOLQ includes this situation so long as you comply with the rules, i.e. the dog becomes lawful quarry once you have run out of other options?

Just to reiterate, though, I don't imagine that shooting a dog just because it is on your property would be seen as acceptable.

Good luck!

Carl
Carl, no problem about BASC teasing - as you can imagine, I understand the sentiment very well !
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
#34
Just to keep yourself protected, it may be best to report what has happened to the police & advise them of your intention to cure the problem. Then if you need to do the deed, they shouldn't give you hassle if it gets reported to them
This is good advice. But bear in mind you don't actually have a legal 'right' to shoot the dog, what you have is a 'legal defence in law' against criminal prosecution if they decide to try and press charges. It still potentially leaves you open to a civil prosecution. Highly unlikely to be the case, from what you've said. But it's worth mentioning, I think. I hope it doesn't come to it, but it's your livestock at the end of the day, and as you say the dog doesn't necessarily need to physically be attacking the sheep to cause mayhem. Best of luck
 

mchughcb

Well-Known Member
#36
Farmers are always right. Except when they are wrong.

If there is a problem you will know its him and he will know its you.
 

cyberstag

Well-Known Member
#37
This is a subject I know a bit about!
A few things to be aware of:
1) You do NOT have a RIGHT to shoot the dog, despite what anyone tells you. However, if you shoot a dog and the owner tries to prosecute you, your defence is that you were protecting your livestock (i.e., the dog was actually chasing your animals, or was out of control and about to do so).
2) The owner of the dog has committed an offence by allowing their dog to chase your animals, so it's highly unlikely that you'd be prosecuted anyway.
3) Never threaten to shoot someone's dog. Threatening behaviour with a shotgun will get you into worse throuble than shooting a dog. Either you just get on and do it, or you don't.
4) Always try to get a photo of the dog attacking the animals before you shoot it.
5) If possible, you should inform police of what you're about to do (although I appreciate this isn't always possible, as things happen too quickly).
6) IMMEDIATELY inform police after you've shot it (i.e., before the dog's owner has a chance to contact police).
7) DO NOT shoot a dog with a section 1 firearm unless it particularly specifies on your FAC that you can shoot animals for the purpose of protecting other animals (or whatever the exact wording is).
8) There are certain situations where you have no defence if you shoot a dog, for example if it is a working sheepdog, a working gundog, or a working foxhound.

Also, I don't know what part of Wales the OP is from, but NWP are taking a very tough line with dog owners these days, and will back up any livestock owner who shoots a dog, and will push for prosecution of the dog's owner.

(Edit: Slider's post above appeared while I was typing. You'll see that there are a few overlaps in the info provided. His info came straight from the NSA website, mine came from personal experience. However, as it happens I am a committee member of the NSA in Wales).
This reply is not intended to disagree with what you are saying Tim but with regard to using a rifle to shoot a dog I think we need some further clarification on this.
Having read some similar comments about not using a rifle to shoot a dog unless it is specified on your certificate let me ask a question; Does anybody here have that wording on their certificate? Last time I renewed my Certificate I asked for written permission to be able to shoot dogs worrying my deer. I had a phone call from the police who discussed likely scenarios and they ended by saying I did not need to have it in writing.

Obviously the position with farmed deer being chased by a dog is very different from sheep. Sheep will usually bunch up in a corner giving the farmer time to approach with a shotgun. With deer things are going to moving at speed and probably at a distance from the farmer that precludes the use of a shotgun (even if he had one).
Added to this is the fact that once deer are wound up enough one is going to possibly jump the fence. The danger then is that the rest will follow even if it means breaking through the fence in a wave of panicked animals.

Now remember that as farmed deer are tagged and are owned property should escaped deer cause an accident on a road then the farmer is liable.
So, I am on the quad bike with a rifle and the above scenario is unfolding before my eyes, What the f--- do you think I am going to do?

Should I ever be unlucky enough to find myself in trouble for taking such a course of action I would hope that a reasoned explanation of why I did what I did would
be sufficient.

Would be very interested to hear of other incidents, probably better by PM, remember this is a public forum.
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
#38
This reply is not intended to disagree with what you are saying Tim but with regard to using a rifle to shoot a dog I think we need some further clarification on this.
Having read some similar comments about not using a rifle to shoot a dog unless it is specified on your certificate let me ask a question; Does anybody here have that wording on their certificate? Last time I renewed my Certificate I asked for written permission to be able to shoot dogs worrying my deer. I had a phone call from the police who discussed likely scenarios and they ended by saying I did not need to have it in writing.

Obviously the position with farmed deer being chased by a dog is very different from sheep. Sheep will usually bunch up in a corner giving the farmer time to approach with a shotgun. With deer things are going to moving at speed and probably at a distance from the farmer that precludes the use of a shotgun (even if he had one).
Added to this is the fact that once deer are wound up enough one is going to possibly jump the fence. The danger then is that the rest will follow even if it means breaking through the fence in a wave of panicked animals.

Now remember that as farmed deer are tagged and are owned property should escaped deer cause an accident on a road then the farmer is liable.
So, I am on the quad bike with a rifle and the above scenario is unfolding before my eyes, What the f--- do you think I am going to do?

Should I ever be unlucky enough to find myself in trouble for taking such a course of action I would hope that a reasoned explanation of why I did what I did would
be sufficient.

Would be very interested to hear of other incidents, probably better by PM, remember this is a public forum.
Surely AOLQ includes dogs so long as the requirements of the 1971 Act are met? Happy to be corrected.

Best,

Carl
 

DVS1

Well-Known Member
#40
Just a quick question to clarify and potentially learn something new...

Does ANYONE have the appropriate wording on their certificate to

'shoot a dog worrying their sheep'

Or would it be loosely contained under the 'any other legal quarry' wording?

I ask as I struggle to believe any constabulary would physically write that you have permission to slot mutley :-|
 

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