Even the most loving, obedient family pet can worry livestock – Please keep your dog(s) on a lead when in the countryside.
Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, if a dog worries livestock on any agricultural land, the owner of the dog, and anyone who is in charge of the dog other than its owner, shall be guilty of an offence. You can be prosecuted with 12 months imprisonment, fined up to £40,000 and ordered to pay compensation under the new amendment.
Worrying livestock includes; attacking, chasing livestock (whether or not actual contact is made) 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 the dog being at large, in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep.
Livestock includes: all farming animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, and poultry. Do you #KnowTheCodeBeforeYouGo when enjoying the countryside? View the Scottish Outdoor Access Code here: http://ow.ly/qf4q30rGCQP
If you observe a livestock worrying incident:
• Notify Police
• Notify the nearest farm/ smallholding – urgent vet assitance may be required to prevent further suffering to the injured animal
• Identify any dog owner/vehicles involved.
• If your dog has worried livestock, it is placed on the lead immediately & notify Police
• If your dog is missing, report to the Police.
PLEASE NOTE: A landowner is permitted to shoot your dog if it can be proved that the action was necessary to protect livestock.