Livestock worrying

What is livestock worrying?

A person who owns or is in charge of a dog which worries livestock on any agricultural land commits the offence of livestock worrying.

The term ‘worrying’ means:

  • attacking livestock;
  • chasing livestock in such a way as may be reasonably expected to cause injury or suffering; in the case of ewes, this includes abortion or loss or reduction in the number of offspring;
  • not having a dog on a lead or under close control when close by, or in a field or enclosure with livestock.

Avon and Somerset Police issued the following guidelines for dog owners:

  • Always check for livestock in fields when walking your dog/s.
  • Always make sure you shut gates behind you.
  • When in fields with livestock, it is vital that your dog/s are kept on a lead and under control at all times. The only time you should release your dog is in the event of being chased by cattle. By restraining the dog in this circumstance, you are putting yourself at risk of being injured by the cattle.
  • If you live near livestock and own a dog/s make sure that your property and garden are secure so your pets cannot escape.