Livestock Worrying

Alert message sent 04/09/2020 09:37:00

Information sent on behalf of Dorset Alert

Did you know that livestock worrying is a criminal offence?

If you’re out walking the dog this weekend on agricultural land and it worries livestock you are committing the offence of livestock worrying.

September is one of the months during the year we have seen a rise in livestock worrying and attacks.

We’re asking dog owners to be responsible when out enjoying our countryside.

- Keep all dogs on a lead around any livestock and remember to always release the lead if chased by cattle and get yourself to safety.

- Worrying is traditionally thought of as a dog biting/attacking livestock but it also means:

- Chasing livestock in such a way as may be reasonably expected to cause injury or suffering; in the case of ewes, this includes abortion or loss or reduction in the number of offspring she has.

- Not having a dog on a lead or under close control when close by, or in a field or enclosure with livestock.

- The penalty for livestock worrying can be 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £1000.

Under the Protection of Livestock Act 1953 “Livestock” means cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses or poultry.

If you see anything suspicious call 101 or if you see a dog worrying or attacking livestock please call Dorset Police on 999

If you wish to have a livestock worrying poster to place around your farm to make people aware then please visit the Rural Crime Team website and download a copy here: 

We also have selection of livestock worrying signs for gates and stiles which are kindly supplied to us by Cornish Mutual and NFU Mutual who are big supporters of our fight against Rural Crime in Dorset.

If you would like some of these for your farm or small holding where you have footpaths crossing farm land please send an email to  with your name, address and the quantity of signs required. These will then be dispatched to you via post. *** THIS ONLY APPLY'S TO DORSET RESIDENTS WHO ARE MEMBERS OF FARM OR HORSEWATCH ONLY ***
Message sent by
Tom Balchin (Dorset Police , Police Community Support Officer, Rural Crime Team, Dorset)

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