Our Safer Neighbourhood Teams in South Derbyshire have recently dealt with several incidents involving dogs. These vary from dogs being loose and causing issues in the community, to worrying livestock or attacking other dogs.
As such, PCSO Kerry Wallington-Waite from the South Rural Crime Team has put together some information for dog owners which is intended to reduce the number of dog-related incidents.
She says, “Below is some helpful guidance around responsible dog ownership.”
- Please keep your dog under control at all times when you are out and about, this may mean keeping it on a lead, but not always. Remember, not everyone likes dogs; a dog is not under proper control if it can run over to over dogs and people without responding to commands or recall.
- Some people keep their dogs on a lead for a reason and another dog running over to it could exacerbate a situation. Likewise, do not pet a dog you do not know, without the owner’s permission, as some dogs may be nervous of strangers and react accordingly.
- A dog being dangerously out of control is a criminal offence. A dog is regarded as being out of control if there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person, regardless of whether or not it actually does so.
PCSO Wallington-Waite continues, “Given the rural nature of parts of our county, dog walkers often access land where livestock is grazing. This is allowed on public rights of way, as long as the dog is on a lead or under close control.
“However, at certain times of year, extra care should be taken when crossing farm land as livestock may be nursing their young. Livestock worrying is an offence and the following points should help to clarify the law around dogs and livestock.”
- Worrying livestock means attacking livestock, or chasing livestock in such a way as may reasonably be expected to cause injury or suffering to the livestock or, in the case of females, loss of their young.
- If a dog worries livestock on any agricultural land, the owner of the dog, and, if it is in the charge of a person other than its owner, that person also, shall be guilty of an offence.
- Keep dogs on leads when near livestock. Make sure their collar and harness fit well, and that you stick to any footpaths or rights of way.
She offers one final piece of advice, regardless of where dogs are walked:
“Every time you dog fouls, bag the mess and bin it. If no bin is available, take the bag home and dispose of it there. Dog mess can be harmful to other wildlife. It is every dog owner’s duty to clean up after their dog - there are no excuses – and failure to do so may result in a fine.”
If you want any further information or advice, or if you have any concerns around livestock worrying, please contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team via 101.