Verderers' Court issues warning to dog owners after Kathleen Brady hit with fine for pig attack
THE owner of a dog which attacked a pig in the New Forest that afterwards had to be humanely destroyed has been hit with a £615 court bill.
Kathleen Brady (35) appeared at Southampton Magistrates’ Court and admitted a charge that her pet worried livestock on agricultural land at Ashurst on 5th November last year.
Brady, of Reynolds Road, Southampton, was fined £300 by the Bench, and told to pay £200 compensation to the pig owner and £115 court charges.
Verderers clerk Sue Westwood said: "This was a case of a dog not under control and an owner unable to stop it when it attacked a Forest animal.
"Other kind members of the public intervened but they were unable to stop the poor pig being very badly injured.
"Due to its injuries, the pig had to be humanely destroyed."
As reported in the A&T, there have been a number of incidents of dogs worrying livestock in recent years.
One of the most recent was in January when an alpaca was attacked in Fordingbridge. The animal had to be put down because of the injuries it suffered.
The incidents have sparked calls at the Verderers' Court and by local police for all dog owners to keep their animals under control.
Hampshire police's Country Watch officers have warned they could seize pets if they are involved in such incidents.
However, Ms Westwood added: "I don’t think we will ever stop such incidents happening, however many campaigns we run, because people simply don’t believe their dog would attack another animal.
"They also don’t understand that even if their dog doesn’t actually bite a Forest animal, simply chasing it will cause significant stress.
"Dogs are predators. Livestock - ponies, donkeys, pigs, sheep and cattle - are prey animals. We just have to keep trying to make the public aware.
"Publicity in a situation like this is very welcome because hopefully it makes people realise it is a serious issue and one that the police and Forest authorities take very seriously."
She added: "When you consider how many dogs are walked on the Forest every day, we are probably lucky incidents like this one don’t happen more often."
Charlotte Lines, chair of the Commoners' Defence Association, said: "The New Forest is a wonderful place to walk dogs. Regrettably a minority of dog walkers fail to do so responsibly and this results in injury to commoners’ animals.
"The recently reported case in which Kathleen Brady was fined for being the owner of a dog that worried livestock at Ashurst serves as a timely reminder to all dog walkers that it is a criminal offence if your dog or a dog that you are walking worries livestock.
"It is vitally important that dogs are kept under close control."
The owner of the pig declined to comment.