Dogs that attack livestock could be seized, police warn owners

New Forest dogs
The warning has come from Hampshire police after a series of incidents in the New Forest

DOG owners that allow their pets to worry livestock on the New Forest have been warned they could face prosecution and their animal may even be seized.


The stark threat has been made in a new Hampshire Police Country Watch poster, which has been put up around the district and also shared online.

It features a tagline that stresses all dogs be kept on leads, adding: “If you allow your dog to worry livestock, you may be prosecuted or fined and ordered to pay compensation – Dogs (Protection and livestock Act 1983).”

The poster also states: “All suspicious people and vehicles are reported directly to the police.

“Dogs used in offences may be seized.”

The poster follows a spate of attacks in recent months in which dogs have targeted livestock or been the victims of an attack.

As reported in the A&T, in June a two-day foal had to be given round the clock care to save its life after it was viciously savaged by a dog.

A month later a herd of cows were reportedly slaughtered after attacking a dog walker, who sustained injuries, and killing his pet.

There have been repeated warnings dog owners must keep their animals under control and in October the Commoners Defence Association (CDA) wrote to the more than 200 people who own cattle on the Forest and advised them to de-horn their livestock.

At the time CDA chairman Dr Tony Hockley said it would be stepping up its campaign for better signage on appropriate behaviour around livestock, particularly the close control of dogs, and enforcement of laws and byelaws.