Police have warned the public it is an offence to ‘worry livestock’ and the farmer has the power to shoot or injure a dog to protect stock after two cow chasing incidents in the South West.
The first incident, which saw a group of young people chase a pregnant cow with a dog, took place on May 9, on private land in Axminster, Devon, and subsequently caused the death of the cow and unborn calf.
A week later (May 15), police received further reports of a group of teenagers chasing cows in the field on Castle Hill, Axminster.
Chris Bolsover, PCSO for Axminster, said: "This is an Offence under the Protection of Livestock Act 1953 under the term ’worrying livestock’."
"The owner of the livestock or the land (farmer) or any authorised person may shoot or injure a dog in order to protect the livestock. This includes shooting a dog that is worrying or attacking their livestock.
"Should anyone witness such incidents please report on 999 at the time of it happening."
The term worrying can be defined as attacking livestock or chasing livestock in such a way as may be reasonably expected to cause injury or suffering.
Farmers Guardian's Take the Lead campaign continues to raise awareness of livestock worrying incidences caused by dog attacks.
The campaign, launched in April 2014, has gained huge industry backing over its time, helping to raise awareness among the British public about livestock worrying and speaking up for our readers’ concerns.
More than 60,000 free signs have been sent out, spurring awareness not seen before in regards to livestock worrying.
Farmers Guardian have 1,000s of Take the Lead gatepost signs to give away.
Please send a self-addressed A4 envelope to:
Farmers Guardian Take the Lead
Unit 4 Fulwood Business Park