If you’ve received a summons to attend at a Magistrates’ Court anywhere in England or Wales under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 then don’t delay – speak to us now and we’ll give you preliminary legal advice. This is a FREE service. We will explain the law, tell you your options and you can decide if you would like to instruct us to represent you.
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This is a criminal case which is committed the by owner as well as the person in charge of the dog. It has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a dog has worried livestock on agricultural land. The definition of livestock and agricultural land is contained in the Act.
Worrying is defined as:-
- attacking livestock
- chasing livestock in such a way that injury or suffering is likely to be caused (this includes indirect injury or harm)
- being at large (i.e. not on a lead or otherwise under close control) in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep
If convicted, it is punishable by a fine of up to £1000 plus costs, plus victim surcharge, plus compensation. The Court has no power to make any order in respect of the dog and so proceedings are usually doubled up with a complaint under Section 2 of the Dogs Act 1871.
If you would like to look at the legislation click here
Please note that the above summary only relates to the law in England and Wales. You must not rely on it as constituting legal advice and so for specific guidance on your particular doglaw issues please contact us – see our “How we can help” section for details.
If you would like to purchase an up to date DVD explaining the principle dangerous dog laws as they apply in England and Wales, specialist Doglaw Solicitor Trevor Cooper (“The Legal Beagle”) has a new 2hr 10min presentation available which explains the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, the Dogs Act 1871 and the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953. The DVD costs only £9.99 (inc. P&P in E&W) and is supplied with an electronic booklet. It is available exclusively from Doglaw Ltd on 01227 469603 or online at Doglaw SOS.