Police are reminding the public to keep dogs on leads when visiting open spaces this bank holiday after reports of livestock worrying.

dog on lead

Livestock worrying is when a dog attacks or chases livestock. It is a criminal offence and can have a devastating impact on livestock, farmers, and, in some circumstances, the dog and the owner.

“We are hoping that by encouraging people to respect our countryside and communities this bank holiday we can also ensure responsible dog ownership and remind people of the law,” said rural affairs officer for Devon and Cornwall Police, PC Chris Collins.

“All land is owned, and access is not a given right, so it is important that users of the countryside understand specific designations of land and rights of way. For example, on land which is designated as ‘access land’. a dog must be on a lead between 1st March and 31st July, and at all times when livestock are present.

“Allowing dogs to chase or attack livestock is a criminal offence. Take notice of local signage, respect wildlife and any livestock around you, keeping your dog on a lead to protect livestock and ground nesting birds.

“If you witness an attack on livestock, do not intervene. Keep yourself safe and call 999. All other information relating to attacks on livestock should be reported to the police online or by calling 101.”

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