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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I'm unsure what section I should ask this question in

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I'm unsure what section I should ask this question in so apologies if this is the wrong one. My immediate neighbours (detached houses in a small village in rural Wales) have a vicious Alsation which they purchased after they suspected oil thefts from their tank. This dog has escaped from their garden into mine on occasion and has today 'had a go' at me in my garden. I have two small children (7 and 9) and shudder to think what the consequences could have been. As I hold a shotgun licence what are my rights if I shoot and kill this dog if it is seen again on my land?
Thanks in advance.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
No. People, even farmers, never had a right to shoot dogs on their land. What they had was a defence to the charge of criminal damage on the basis that they were preventing crime if a dog was actually worrying sheep.
If the dog is just on your land and doing nothing then the defence would not be made out and this would be an offence.
Further, any attempt to use the shotgun or threaten to do will lead to it being revoked.
There is no action that can be taken about a dog merely being upon land. if it misbehaves when there then liability might arise depending on what actually happens.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Many thanks for your swift response and whilst you are far more qualified than I am in these matters does the fact that the dog has already 'had a go at me' (6ft ish) and that I have had 30years of experience with dogs - not change the situation at all - considering the ages of my young children? It seems 'odd' that if I had chickens/lambs etc then I believe the situation would alter drastically. Please understand that I am not trying to undermine your answer at all but it doesnt seem right that visious dogs are allowed on my land and are allowed to terrorise me/my children.

Thanks again,


No, it doesn't change anything for the next occasion.
It depends what you mean by having a go anyway. Since you don't complain about injury I presume you are not injured thankfully. If you are not injured then shooting a dog would not be proportionate anyway.
The situation wouldn't change if you had chickens or lambs. The same offence and defence would apply.
If you shoot a dog without authority then that is criminal damage. There are some offences under the animal welfare act that would apply too but the Crown won't use those probably. Criminal damage would give you a defence if you acted proportionately in the prevention of crime. It is always difficult to argue that shooting a dog is proportionate though.
A better option might be to secure up the point of entry and then sue the neighbours for the cost if they refuse to pay.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK. Many thanks for clarifying these points. I do believe that had I not been so close to a door then I could indeed have been injured but I'm not planning on hanging about deliberately to prove that point. I suspect that CCTV evidence may help in future to ensure that nobody has to act in any way other than securing the property to ensure that it can't access it.

Thanks again,


Yes, if you are in dispute with a neighbour then CCTV is always a good idea.
But if you write to them giving them 7 days to secure the gardens and making clear that in default you will do it and sue to recover then that will get them moving and if it doesn't they can pay costs.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks and best regards,


No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Great, Thanks again. Enjoy what is left of the weekend :-)

And you.