Keeping your dog on their lead when walking through fields with livestock
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We are urging people to keep their dogs on a lead when walking through or near fields which have livestock in them.
There has been an incident of sheep worrying in Stanton-by-Bridge which resulted in a lamb being killed.
Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 it is an offence to allow your dog to chase, attack, or be off their lead or under close control in a field or enclosure in which there are livestock.
Inspector Joanna Meakin, of Derbyshire’s Rural Crime Team, said: “The importance of having your dog under control and on a lead when walking through the countryside is vital for not only the safety of the livestock who are in the fields but also for those walking through it. The stress alone of being chased by a dog can kill livestock, and it can also be very distressing to discover a wounded animal for the farmer. Injuries and fatalities can also have a real impact on rural livelihoods."
If you are walking through the countryside with your dog, consider this advice under the Countryside Code:
- Always follow the information which are on signs when entering a field as this will help protect the livestock, yourself, and your dog.
- It is a legal requirement to have your dog on a lead of no more than two metres between 1 March and 31 July on Open Access Land, even if there is no livestock in the field.
- Always clean up any dog fouling as this can cause illness to animals if consumed. Do not leave the bags to pick up later and always dispose of it responsibly.
- If you feel threatened and in danger by the livestock, it is safer to let your dog off their lead so you can both get to safety.
- Farmers are able to destroy your dog if it injuries or endangers their animals.
Inspector Joanna Meakin added: “We would urge all dog owners and walkers to follow to the Countryside Code, and in particular the advice on walking dogs responsibly near livestock and wildlife.”
If you see an incident of livestock being injured, chased or have information about a dog being out of control, you can report this to us by using our online reporting form https://bit.ly/3hxf9Xt, alternatively you can get in contact with us using any of the below methods:
- Facebook – send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
- Twitter – direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact
- Website – complete the online contact form https://bit.ly/3mjkann.
- Phone – call us on 101.