Animal welfare in worrying incidents

We face disturbing scenes of mutilated livestock, some of which result in suffering and serious injury resulting in the animal being destroyed. Many are so traumatised and stressed they miscarry.

The dog could be destroyed/shot if in the act of worrying which in most cases will be the loss of a loved family pet.
Livestock keepers rely on these animals for their income and an attack can have severe financial implications on a victim’s financial situation. This can further be compounded by an attack happening in lambing season when the future livestock is also lost.


No matter how well behaved your dog is, you cant guarantee that your dog won’t run off chasing after sheep or by running about make sheep run.

Dogs on leads around livestock – The Law

As protected by the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, if a dog worries sheep on agricultural land, the person in charge of the dog is guilty of an offence. This includes attacking sheep, chasing them in a way that may cause injury, suffering, abortion or loss of produce

Dogs owners can face fines of up to £1000 as well as a jail term of six months if their dog is caught off lead around farms and worrying livestock. To avoid this, the Bodmin Moor Commons Council, Police and the NFU are encouraging dog owners to keep their dogs on lead around any livestock regardless of the dog’s behaviour.

Visitors using their open access rights must keep their dogs on a short lead of no more than 2 metres between 1 March and 31 July each year and at all times near livestock.

Julie Dowton
BMCC Livestock Welfare Officer
October 2019