Dogs and Sheep - what best to do ?

slider

Well-Known Member
Any bit of the law that says "it shall be a defence to prove..." should also have to contain the words "This option is only open to very rich people who have the cash for barristers and expert witnesses to provide a legal and professional basis for such a proof."
Not correct, I have know a few cases where a farmer as shot a dog and been threatened with court action. All cases have been dropped before charges were brought or have been through out by the Procurator Fiscal
 

kes

Well-Known Member
I am awaiting confirmation from my FEO that AOLQ covers me for a rifle of suitable calibre or that he will process another condition for me which includes " for the protection of livestock" - I will update on conclusion.
He was a bit skittish about using the .308 and asked how long I had been shooting -57 years and counting. He seemed satisfied.
 

cyberstag

Well-Known Member
I am awaiting confirmation from my FEO that AOLQ covers me for a rifle of suitable calibre or that he will process another condition for me which includes " for the protection of livestock" - I will update on conclusion.
He was a bit skittish about using the .308 and asked how long I had been shooting -57 years and counting. He seemed satisfied.
It will be interesting to hear how you get on with that!
 

kes

Well-Known Member
I have received the following advice from my FEO, with a genuine statement of " I hope this helps"

"There is not a specific condition available that allows the shooting of dogs worrying livestock, However the legislation clearly advises that you are able to do so provided certain criteria are met.

I have replicated the guidance notes below.

I would suggest you would be covered and the use of a rifle of .223 calibre would be a humane option. We would not consider it a breach of licence conditions unless you have acted in an inappropriate manner. (Inappropriate manner not specified)

13.16 “Good reason” to possess particular firearms will generally be linked to the quarry species found on the land concerned. However, conditions for the possession of such firearms may allow the certificate holder to deal with reasonable eventualities, for example, pest or game species or the humane destruction of injured animals on the estate. The Pests Act 1954 (see relevant section in chapter 14) can be used to impose a duty with financial penalties on occupiers of land to control rabbits on their land. Under the Animals Act 1971 section 9, a person may, under certain specified circumstances, shoot a dog found worrying sheep, cattle or other livestock. Protection of livestock may constitute the ‘good reason’ for possessing a rifle for some farmers or others involved in animal husbandry (see also chapter 14). Although not stipulated in law, a shotgun may be used where dogs worrying sheep and other livestock are to be killed. Where the use of a rifle for these purposes is cited as “good reason”, DEFRA advise that calibres suitable for small deer would be appropriate.

Dogs

14.61 Section 9 of the Animals Act 1971provides a defence for killing or injuring a dog if the defendant acted to protect livestock, and subsequently informs the police within forty-eight hours of the incident. The defendant can only act in defence of livestock in such a way if the livestock, or the land on which it is, belongs to them or to any other person under whose express or implied authority they are acting. Note that the Animal Act 1971 does not extend to Scotland – see section 13(4)."


So it seems you may shoot a dog worrying sheep with a rifle or shotgun unless you do so in an unspecified inappropriate manner. One inappropriate manner would obviously be to shoot the dog when you next found it, wherever that was. My contact stated, although it doesnt seem to appear in the Guidance that to be safe you must shoot it 'in fagrante delicto' (in this case not in a sexual sense) but in the act of wrongdoing and on your land or land over which you have permission to shoot and see above.
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
I have received the following advice from my FEO, with a genuine statement of " I hope this helps"

"There is not a specific condition available that allows the shooting of dogs worrying livestock, However the legislation clearly advises that you are able to do so provided certain criteria are met.

I have replicated the guidance notes below.

I would suggest you would be covered and the use of a rifle of .223 calibre would be a humane option. We would not consider it a breach of licence conditions unless you have acted in an inappropriate manner. (Inappropriate manner not specified)

13.16 “Good reason” to possess particular firearms will generally be linked to the quarry species found on the land concerned. However, conditions for the possession of such firearms may allow the certificate holder to deal with reasonable eventualities, for example, pest or game species or the humane destruction of injured animals on the estate. The Pests Act 1954 (see relevant section in chapter 14) can be used to impose a duty with financial penalties on occupiers of land to control rabbits on their land. Under the Animals Act 1971 section 9, a person may, under certain specified circumstances, shoot a dog found worrying sheep, cattle or other livestock. Protection of livestock may constitute the ‘good reason’ for possessing a rifle for some farmers or others involved in animal husbandry (see also chapter 14). Although not stipulated in law, a shotgun may be used where dogs worrying sheep and other livestock are to be killed. Where the use of a rifle for these purposes is cited as “good reason”, DEFRA advise that calibres suitable for small deer would be appropriate.

Dogs

14.61 Section 9 of the Animals Act 1971provides a defence for killing or injuring a dog if the defendant acted to protect livestock, and subsequently informs the police within forty-eight hours of the incident. The defendant can only act in defence of livestock in such a way if the livestock, or the land on which it is, belongs to them or to any other person under whose express or implied authority they are acting. Note that the Animal Act 1971 does not extend to Scotland – see section 13(4)."

So it seems you may shoot a dog worrying sheep with a rifle or shotgun unless you do so in an unspecified inappropriate manner. One inappropriate manner would obviously be to shoot the dog when you next found it, wherever that was. My contact stated, although it doesnt seem to appear in the Guidance that to be safe you must shoot it 'in fagrante delicto' (in this case not in a sexual sense) but in the act of wrongdoing and on your land or land over which you have permission to shoot and see above.
So he is saying that AOLQ covers you so long as you comply with the legal requirements as to the circumstances under which dogs may be shot? Is that your understanding too?
 

rem284

Well-Known Member
If it was me who had the sheep this is how I would try and handle it. Of course I would not want any risk of harm to my sheep. However I would not want to harm or kill anyones dog unless it was the absolute only way to stop the dog cause actual harm to the sheep. I would try to get the owner to see the problem and hope to get him on my side through rational discussion. If that failed then I would ask the local police to have a word with the dogs owner. I hope it works out ok for you in the end
 

johngryphon

Well-Known Member
I can add that a local farmer (Jack") in my old haunts rang the next towns wealthy car trader whose house/estate was a few K`s down the road and said "i have your two German Shepherds here"

Car Trader said "omg we have been looking everywhere for them"

"Come and get them then please"

CT arrived to see the two dogs dead in "Jacks" yard.

"Here they are,I shot them as they were killing my ewes"

CT said "those are not my dogs"

"oh yes they are "Frank" the tags have been ID"

At the time I was working with "Jack" and he told me the next day when I turned up at his place.

There was no comeback at all "According to the Victorian Domestic Animals Act, 1994, the owner of any animals kept for farming purposes "may destroy" cats or dog that gets too close to their livestock."
 

VSS

Well-Known Member
If it was me who had the sheep this is how I would try and handle it. Of course I would not want any risk of harm to my sheep. However I would not want to harm or kill anyones dog unless it was the absolute only way to stop the dog cause actual harm to the sheep. I would try to get the owner to see the problem and hope to get him on my side through rational discussion. If that failed then I would ask the local police to have a word with the dogs owner. I hope it works out ok for you in the end
With all due respect, until you're actually faced with the situation where an unstoppable dog is ripping into your livestock, you have no idea how you'd handle it.

Out of all the people who've posted on this thread, I wonder how many:
a) keep sheep
& b) have ever shot someone's dog?

No more than 2, at a guess.
 

cyberstag

Well-Known Member
You are quite right Tim in that you do not know how you will deal with the situation until you are facing it head on. So many different factors come into play and the time in which to weigh up the options is very short if you are to save lives or prevent a bigger disaster.

I consider that as a deer farmer I get less time to make decisions than a sheep farmer would. Badly spooked deer will go through or over a standard deer fence, and once a few go they all will, or kill themselves in the attempt. So to prevent that, if a dog or dogs is causing that situation they will need to be stopped pdq.
It is the Dogs (protection of livestock)Act 1953 which is relevant here. You will be aware that in 1953 there were no deer farms in existence in the UK so the bit that says you cannot shoot gun dogs or pack hounds had not foreseen the case where staghounds might enter a deer farm and create havoc. Do I expect the law to get changed? You can answer that yourselves. 3 times I have had the staghounds into my farm; twice before the hunting ban and once very recently. In the recent case there were at least 8-10 hounds on my farm so they were acting illegally because they are only supposed to use 2. Had I shot any of the hounds (which I did not) then you could argue under the 1953 Act that I would have been acting illegally.

If 300 deer escape from my farm due to hunt activity I will probably have lost my livelihood and the deer would also probably be mopped up by local "sportsmen" unless I was lucky enough to get them back in quickly. Ok this would be worst case scenario but you can see why fuses are short when somebody's leisure activity can have this effect.

Unfortunately the biggest problem for sheep farmers is that the general public never believe their dogs could or would do such a thing. A dog licence should cost about £500 and only be granted after passing an exam.
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
You are quite right Tim in that you do not know how you will deal with the situation until you are facing it head on. So many different factors come into play and the time in which to weigh up the options is very short if you are to save lives or prevent a bigger disaster.

I consider that as a deer farmer I get less time to make decisions than a sheep farmer would. Badly spooked deer will go through or over a standard deer fence, and once a few go they all will, or kill themselves in the attempt. So to prevent that, if a dog or dogs is causing that situation they will need to be stopped pdq.
It is the Dogs (protection of livestock)Act 1953 which is relevant here. You will be aware that in 1953 there were no deer farms in existence in the UK so the bit that says you cannot shoot gun dogs or pack hounds had not foreseen the case where staghounds might enter a deer farm and create havoc. Do I expect the law to get changed? You can answer that yourselves. 3 times I have had the staghounds into my farm; twice before the hunting ban and once very recently. In the recent case there were at least 8-10 hounds on my farm so they were acting illegally because they are only supposed to use 2. Had I shot any of the hounds (which I did not) then you could argue under the 1953 Act that I would have been acting illegally.

If 300 deer escape from my farm due to hunt activity I will probably have lost my livelihood and the deer would also probably be mopped up by local "sportsmen" unless I was lucky enough to get them back in quickly. Ok this would be worst case scenario but you can see why fuses are short when somebody's leisure activity can have this effect.

Unfortunately the biggest problem for sheep farmers is that the general public never believe their dogs could or would do such a thing. A dog licence should cost about £500 and only be granted after passing an exam.
@slider has already corrected you on this aspect of the law in his post #59. Your description of the law is wrong. The 1953 Act does not address the shooting of dogs. That is covered by the 1971 Act, which does not exclude particular types of dog.

Kind regards,

Carl
 

rem284

Well-Known Member
With all due respect, until you're actually faced with the situation where an unstoppable dog is ripping into your livestock, you have no idea how you'd handle it.
I was saying what I would do as the op posted the dog was not actually ripping into the sheep. So it was possible to converse with the owner to avoid the situation where the dog could cause harm to the sheep and prevent the dog having to be shot. If the dog was actually ripping into the sheep as YOU say then the option to dispatch that dog would be very real

I have not owned sheep but have worked with them
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
I was saying what I would do as the op posted the dog was not actually ripping into the sheep. So it was possible to converse with the owner to avoid the situation where the dog could cause harm to the sheep and prevent the dog having to be shot. If the dog was actually ripping into the sheep as YOU say then the option to dispatch that dog would be very real

I have not owned sheep but have worked with them
I like that you would seek to be conciliatory with the dog-owner (and I believe that the OP has already tried that).

However, "ripping into" the sheep is not the only way to cause harm. Any chasing, herding, rounding-up, or baiting of in-lamb ewes by an unfamiliar dog can cause them to abort. I would not shoot a dog that just happened to be in the same field; however, if it engaged with my sheep in any way (and there was no other way to catch it or stop it), it would get a bullet...and I am confident that Herefordshire Police would congratulate me.
 

rem284

Well-Known Member
However, "ripping into" the sheep is not the only way to cause harm. Any chasing, herding, rounding-up, or baiting of in-lamb ewes by an unfamiliar dog can cause them to abort. I would not shoot a dog that just happened to be in the same field; however, if it engaged with my sheep in any way (and there was no other way to catch it or stop it), it would get a bullet...and I am confident that Herefordshire Police would congratulate me.
I know the dog does not need to be ripping into the dog to do harm. I have worked along side farmers most of my life. I am merely saying that if the dog owner does not agree to keep his dog away from the sheep I would then put it into the hands of the police to instruct the dog owner that he must obey the laws. Hopefully in that way no sheep are harmed in any way shape or form and the dog is not shot. It's hard to believe that the dog owner does not fully understand the harm that the dog can cause
 

shortshot

Well-Known Member
Carry a wad of wool in your pocket if your intending to shoot a dog for sheep worrying. A dead dog with lump of wool in his jaws settles any argument.
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
The last few posts of carl and rem are exactly why i would try and if at all possible go down the fencing/rabbit netting route as it might almost eliminate the problem with out having to resort to shooting the dog.

When ur dealing with a known dog coming from a known house the chances are it will be coming throung the same few holes in the fence every time, block them up and any nearby and u might solve ur problem. (or even offer to dog proof the owners garden for him, ideally charge him for ur time, but if an easy job doing it FOC might generate a lot of goodwill, better that than having to destroy his dog)

I know on the shoots where i work my dogs they know almost every hole in the fences for getting in/out woods even woods where i haven't been at that end for a season or 2 (i don't really like them jumping if i can help it)

Really not a nice situation for u to be in kes (or any farmer/stockman) and esp when the owner is making light of it, and even the worry if ur away/at work has that little bugger been in again would do my heid in (another reason why i'd go for the fencing) (can u tell i do a bit of fencing??:), dinae worry kes not touting for work ur far too far for me)
 

johngryphon

Well-Known Member
Dogs will as history readily shows will chase and push sheep into a fence corner where they will pile up and smother,sometimes in the hundreds. They don`t have to bite to kill them.
I have shot dogs,there is very very little tolerance to uninvited dogs on grazing properties.
I have spent years in sheep country and I`m glad I don`t anymore.
There are no sheep in this valley now. (wild dogs)
 

kes

Well-Known Member
So he is saying that AOLQ covers you so long as you comply with the legal requirements as to the circumstances under which dogs may be shot? Is that your understanding too?
Carl,
That was my understanding, since I asked for a condition which would say " use in the protection of livestock"
Where I am farmers shoot first and worry after. I have warned once and will again if the dog is not actually chasing the sheep. Third time if its in the field and the sheep are gathered - I will shoot it the police agreed that would be enough.
Ialready advised the owner to control it and said "dont make me shoot your dog" he's had enough grace and didnt offer to pay for the sheep which had already died.
 

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