There are 2 laws dog owners should be aware of when walking their animals in the countryside in fields which contain livestock: Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 and the Animal Act 1971. These laws stipulate that if a dog is seemingly ‘worrying’ livestock (attacking, chasing or being ‘at large’) then landowners/farmers are within their rights to shoot the dog is worrying or about to worry the livestock, and if there are no other possible means of ‘ending or preventing the worrying’. Due to an increase in dog attacks to livestock, NFU launched a campaign in June called Love Your Countryside. This campaign gives advice on how to enjoy the countryside responsibly and to keep safe when out walking in fields with lifestock: http://www.nfuonline.com/news/latest-news/love-your-countryside-urges-nfu/
Today, we stitched up Norman, a calf who was attacked by a dog. He had a very deep and severe wound on his chest, but we managed to close it after a good hour of surgery. Usually cattle have to undergo TB testing in order to move from their holding farm, but because of the extent of the injury, Animal Health gave the owner permission to bring the calf into the practice for surgery to be performed. Within a couple of hours, Norman was back on his feet and safely on his way back to his owner’s smallholding.