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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My dog was shot by a farmer because it had got in with his

Resolved Question:

My dog was shot by a farmer because it had got in with his sheep
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry for your loss. I assume you want to know if the farmer can do this?

Customer:

Yes he new it was my dog, I live one field away from where he got in with sheep. he has never done this before and he would not have been off the lead ever when I would be taking him for a walk again. he could have fetched me and I would have put him on his lead. but he just shot it.

Alex Watts : Was it attacking the sheep?
Customer:

No it did not attack them the sheep were understandably running and apparently he was chasing them just as pups do

Alex Watts :

Why was the dog out of control?

Customer:

I had taken him for a walk into the woods that is beside the lane running to the side of my house as I always do, the farmer has seen me do this many times and has been in the vicinity when I am walking him the dog ran into adjacent field as he does many times but always comes back within minutes. this was not the field that the sheep were in. I do not know how he could have got in to the field where the sheep were. the farmer surely should make sure that his fields are secure to hold livestock.

Alex Watts :

Let me look a few things up.

Customer:

OK I have got to go out on site and I will be back in the office in about half an hour.

Customer:

I was searching for my dog and I went back to the house to see if he had returned, the farmer had left me a note to say what a lovely dog he was and he new what he meant to me but that he had shot it.

Alex Watts :

The owner n charge of a dog that is dangerously out of control in public or on private land without permission commits an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Alex Watts :

In the absence of injury to a person or grounds to fear such injury, however, the offence the farmer is likely to be confronted with is worrying livestock, under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953,

Alex Watts :

“Worrying” covers attacking, chasing in a way that could cause injury, suffering, abortion or loss of produce, or simply being “at large”, that is not on a lead or otherwise under close control, in a field or enclosure containing sheep.

Alex Watts :

You accept he was not on his lead and out and about. This could constitute enough under the Act for the farmer to take action

Alex Watts :

You can rely on the Criminal Damage Act and the farmer would need to show a reasonable excuse as a defence under the Act.

Alex Watts :

The farmer might also find himself sued for damages by the dog’s owner for trespass to goods, in which case he will need to rely on the defence available under the Animals Act 1971 and show that he believed on reasonable grounds that either: the dog was worrying or about to worry the livestock and there were no other reasonable means of ending or preventing it; or, that the dog had been worrying livestock, had not left the vicinity and was not under anyone’s control and there were no practicable means of finding out to whom it belonged.

Alex Watts :

So it is not clear cut. You may have a claim against the farmer, but equally the farmer may have a defence.

Alex Watts :

You do not know what the dog was doing, if it was worrying the sheep that is enough

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

would any solicitors no what would be my chances of a prosecution. I realise this is a very open question but you may know of certain solicitors.

Alex Watts :

Prosecution if you took it to Court.

Customer:

yes

Alex Watts :

Quite good, but any claim would be reduced for contributory fault, ie you did not have your dog under control

Alex Watts :

Had your dog been under control it would not have happened.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry

Customer:

thank you for what you have done for me.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry most of all for your loss, as a dog owner I do feel for you.

Alex Watts :

Can I help with anything else today?

Customer:

No thanks.

Alex Watts :

If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Customer:

No I will now try to contact a solicitor.

Alex Watts :

Ok, good luck with tis.

Alex Watts :

* this *

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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