Search Legislation

Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953

 Help about what version

What Version

 Help about advanced features

Advanced Features

 Help about opening options

Opening Options

Changes over time for: Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953

 Help about opening options

Changes to legislation:

There are currently no known outstanding effects for the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. At the current time any known changes or effects made by subsequent legislation have been applied to the text of the legislation you are viewing by the editorial team. Please see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for details regarding the timescales for which new effects are identified and recorded on this site.

Legislation Crest

E+W+S

Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953

1953 CHAPTER 28 1 and 2 Eliz 2

An Act to provide for the punishment of persons whose dogs worry livestock on agricultural land; and for purposes connected with the matter aforesaid.

[14th July 1953.]

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Act: Functions transferred (W.) (1.7.1999) by S.I. 1999/672, art. 2, Sch. 1

C2Words of enactment omitted under authority of Statute Law Revision Act 1948 (c. 62), s. 3

1 Penalty where dog worries livestock on agricultural land.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, if a dog worries livestock on any agricultural land, the owner of the dog, and, if it is in the charge of a person other than its owner, that person also, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

(2)For the purposes of this Act worrying livestock means—

(a)attacking livestock, or

(b)chasing livestock in such a way as may reasonably be expected to cause injury or suffering to the livestock or, in the case of females, abortion, or loss of or diminution in their produce.

[F1or

(c)being at large (that is to say not on a lead or otherwise under close control) in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep]

[F2(2A)Subsection (2)(c) of this section shall not apply in relation to—

(a)a dog owned by, or in the charge of, the occupier of the field or enclosure or the owner of the sheep or a person authorised by either of those persons; or

(b)a police dog, a guide dog, trained sheep dog, a working gun dog or a pack of hounds.]

(3)A person shall not be guilty of an offence under this Act by reason of anything done by a dog, if at the material time the livestock are trespassing on the land in question and the dog is owned by, or in the charge of, the occupier of that land or a person authorised by him, except in a case where the said person causes the dog to attack the livestock.

(4)The owner of a dog shall not be convicted of an offence under this Act in respect of the worrying of livestock by the dog if he proves that at the time when the dog worried the livestock it was in the charge of some other person, whom he reasonably believed to be a fit and proper person to be in charge of the dog.

(5)Where the Minister is satisfied that it is inexpedient that subsection (1) of this section should apply to land in any particular area, being an area appearing to him to consist wholly or mainly of mountain, hill, moor, heath or down land, he may by order direct that that subsection shall not apply to land in that area.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under this Act shall be liable on summary conviction—

(a)except in a case falling within the succeeding paragraph, to a fine not exceeding [X1ten pounds];

(b)in a case where the person in question has previously been convicted of an offence under this Act in respect of the same dog, to a fine not exceeding [X1fifty pounds].

Extent Information

E1This version of this provision extends to England and Wales only; a separate version has been created for Scotland only

Editorial Information

X1Note: for subsequent variation of penalties see the relevant annotations under "Modifications etc. (not altering text)".

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C3S. 1(5) certain functions of Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food transferred by S.I. 1978/272, art. 2

C4S. 1(6) has effect (E.W.) by virtue of Criminal Law Act 1977 (c. 45, SIF 39:1), s. 31, Sch. 6 and Criminal Justice Act 1982 (c. 48, SIF 39:1), s. 46 and (S.) by virtue of Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 (c. 21, SIF 39:1), ss. 289C, 289G, Sch. 7C as if the maximum fine that may be imposed on summary conviction were level 3 on the standard scale.

1 [F6Offence where dog attacks or worries livestock on agricultural land]S

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, if a dog [F7attacks or] worries livestock on any agricultural land, the owner of the dog, and, if it is in the charge of a person other than its owner, that person also, shall be guilty of an offence under this [F8section] .

(2)For the purposes of this Act worrying livestock means—

F9(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(b)chasing livestock in such a way as may reasonably be expected to cause injury or suffering to the livestock or, in the case of females, abortion, or loss of or diminution in their produce.

[F10or

(c)being at large (that is to say not on a lead or otherwise under close control) in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep]

[F11(2A)Subsection (2)(c) of this section shall not apply in relation to—

(a)a dog owned by, or in the charge of, the occupier of the field or enclosure or the owner of the sheep or a person authorised by either of those persons; or

(b)a police dog, a guide dog [F12or other assistance dog], trained sheep dog, a working gun dog or a [F13dog lawfully used to hunt [F14, but only if and to the extent that the dog is performing the role in question]] .]

(3)A person shall not be guilty of an offence under this [F15section ] by reason of anything done by a dog, if at the material time the livestock are trespassing on the land in question and the dog is owned by, or in the charge of, the occupier of that land or a person authorised by him, except in a case where the said person causes the dog to attack the livestock.

(4)The owner of a dog shall not be convicted of an offence under this [F16section ] in respect of the [F17attacking or] worrying of livestock by the dog if he proves that at the time when the dog [F18attacked or] worried the livestock it was in the charge of some other person, whom he reasonably believed to be a fit and proper person to be in charge of the dog.

(5)Where the Minister is satisfied that it is inexpedient that subsection (1) of this section should apply to land in any particular area, being an area appearing to him to consist wholly or mainly of mountain, hill, moor, heath or down land, he may by order direct that that subsection shall not apply to land in that area.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under this [F19section ] shall be liable on summary conviction—

[F20(a)to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months;

(b)to a fine not exceeding £40,000; or

(c)both.]

Extent Information

E5 This version of this provision extends to Scotland only; a separate version has been created for England and Wales only

Textual Amendments

F13Words in s. 1(2A)(b) substituted (S.) (1.8.2002) by 2002 asp 6, s. 11, Sch. para. 4; SSI 2002/181, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C6S. 1(1) amended (S.) (1.4.1996) by 1995 c. 40, ss. 3, 7(2), Sch. 1 para. 3(1), Sch. 2 Pt. II

C7S. 1(5) certain functions of Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food transferred by S.I. 1978/272, art. 2, Sch.

C8S. 1(6) has effect (E.W.) by virtue of Criminal Law Act 1977 (c. 45, SIF 39:1), s. 31, Sch. 6 and Criminal Justice Act 1982 (c. 48, SIF 39:1), s. 46 and (S.) by virtue of Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 (c. 21, SIF 39:1), ss. 289C, 289G, Sch. 7C as if the maximum fine that may be imposed on summary conviction were level 3 on the standard scale.

[F31AOrders in respect of persons convicted of an offence under section 1E+W+S

(1)Where a person (P) is convicted of an offence under section 1, the court may make an order—

(a)disqualifying P from owning or keeping a dog during such period as the court thinks fit,

(b)requiring P, during such period as the court thinks fit, to prevent any dog of which P has charge from going on to land which P knows, or reasonably ought to know, is agricultural land on which livestock is present or is likely to be present, or

(c)both.

(2)Where P is convicted of an offence under section 1, then for the purposes of any appeal under the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (c.46) an order under subsection (1) is to be treated as a sentence.

(3)If P fails to comply with an order under subsection (1), P commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(4)Subsection (5) applies where an order has been made under subsection (1) and at least one year has elapsed since the order was made.

(5)P may, in such manner as may be prescribed by rules of court, apply to the court which made the order for the order to be discharged in whole or in part, or otherwise varied.

(6)If the application in respect of an order is refused, in whole or in part—

(a)P may appeal to the Sheriff Appeal Court, and

(b)no further application in respect of that order shall otherwise be competent unless at least one year has elapsed from the date of the refusal.]

2 Enforcement.E+W

(1)As respects an offence under this Act alleged to have been committed in respect of a dog on any agricultural land in England or Wales, no proceedings shall be brought except—

(a)by or with the consent of the chief officer of police for the police area in which the land is situated, or

(b)by the occupier of the land, or

(c)by the owner of any of the livestock in question.

(2)Where in the case of a dog found on any land —

(a)a police officer has reasonably cause to believe that the dog has been worrying livestock on that land, and the land appears to him to be agricultural land, and

(b)no person is present who admits to being the owner of the dog or in charge of it,

then for the purpose of ascertaining who is the owner of the dog the police officer may seize it and may detain it until the owner has claimed it and paid all expenses incurred by reason of its detention.

(3)Subsections (4) to (10) of section three of the M1Dogs Act, 1906 (which provide for the disposal of dogs seized under subsection (1) of that section if unclaimed after seven days) shall apply in relation to dogs seized under the last preceding subsection as they apply in relation to dogs seized under subsection (1) of that section (which provides for the seizure and detention of dogs found in highways and places of public resort and believed to be stray dogs).

Extent Information

E2This version of this provision extends to England and Wales only. A separate version has been created for Scotland only.

Marginal Citations

2 Enforcement.S

(1)As respects an offence under this Act alleged to have been committed in respect of a dog on any agricultural land in England or Wales, no proceedings shall be brought except—

(a)by or with the consent of the chief officer of police for the police area in which the land is situated, or

(b)by the occupier of the land, or

(c)by the owner of any of the livestock in question.

(2)Where in the case of a dog found on any land [F21(other than premises)]

(a)a police officer has reasonably cause to believe that the dog has been [F22attacking or] worrying livestock on [F23land that ] appears to him to be agricultural land, and

(b)no person is present who admits to being the owner of the dog or in charge of it,

then for the purpose of ascertaining who is the owner of the dog the police officer may seize it and may detain it until the owner has claimed it and paid all expenses incurred by reason of its detention.

[F24(2A)Where in the case of a dog found on any land (other than premises) a police officer has reasonable cause to believe that—

(a)the dog has been attacking or worrying livestock on land (whether the land on which the dog is found or other land) that appears to him to be agricultural land, and

(b)it is necessary to seize the dog in order to identify and secure evidence of the commission of an offence under section 1 of this Act,

then the police officer may seize the dog and may detain it for as long as necessary to identify and secure any such evidence.]

(3)Subsections (4) to [F25(9)] of section three of the M2Dogs Act, 1906 (which provide for the disposal of dogs seized under subsection (1) of that section if unclaimed after seven days) shall apply in relation to dogs seized [F26by a police officer under subsection (2) of this section] as they apply in relation to dogs seized under subsection (1) of that section (which provides for the seizure and detention of dogs found in highways and places of public resort and believed to be stray dogs) [F27, subject to subsection (5) of this section].

[F28(4)Subsections (2) to (9) of section three of the Dogs Act, 1906 shall apply in relation to dogs seized by a police officer under subsection (2A) of this section as they apply in relation to dogs seized under subsection (1) of that section, subject to—

(a)disregarding the words “and paid all expenses incurred by reason of its detention” where they appear in subsection (4) of that section, and

(b)subsection (5) of this section.

(5)The application of section three of the Dogs Act, 1906 to dogs seized under this section is subject to a presumption that, unless there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the dog is dangerous or it is otherwise impracticable to do so, the dog should be sold rather than destroyed.]

Extent Information

E6This version of this provision extends to Scotland only. A separate version has been created for England and Wales only.

Textual Amendments

Marginal Citations

[F42A Power of justice of the peace to authorise entry and search.E+W

If on an application made by a constable a justice of the peace is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing—

(a)that an offence under this Act has been committed: and

(b)that the dog in respect of which the offence has been committed is on premises specified in the application,

he may issue a warrant authorising a constable to enter and search the premises in order to identify the dog.]

Extent Information

E3This version of this provision extends to England and Wales only. A separate version has been created for Scotland only.

Textual Amendments

[F292A Power to authorise entry, search, seizure etc.S

(1)Subsection (4) applies if, on an application made by a constable, a sheriff or a justice of the peace is satisfied—

(a)that there are reasonable grounds for believing that a dog in respect of which an offence under this Act has been committed is on premises specified in the application, and

(b)that either subsection (2) or subsection (3) is complied with in relation to the premises.

(2)This subsection is complied with in relation to premises if—

(a)either—

(i)admission to the premises has been refused, or

(ii)such a refusal may reasonably be expected, and

(b)either—

(i)notice of the intention to seek a warrant has been given to the occupier of the premises, or

(ii)the giving of such notice would frustrate the purpose for which the warrant is sought.

(3)This subsection is complied with if the premises are unoccupied or the occupier is temporarily absent.

(4)Where this subsection applies, the sheriff or justice of the peace may issue a warrant authorising a constable to enter the premises (using such force as is reasonably necessary) and to search them in order to—

(a)identify the dog,

(b)ascertain who is the owner of the dog in the event that no person is present who admits to being the owner or to being in charge of the dog, in which case the constable may seize the dog and may detain it until the owner has claimed it and paid all expenses incurred by reason of its detention, and

(c)examine, seize and detain the dog in order to identify and secure evidence of the commission of an offence under this Act.

(5)A warrant issued under this section shall be authority for opening lockfast places and may authorise persons named in the warrant, or persons carrying out roles specified in the warrant, to accompany a constable who is executing it.

(6)Subsection (3) or, as the case may be, subsection (5) of section 2 of this Act shall apply to any dog seized by a constable under subsection (4)(b) of this section as if the dog had been seized by a police officer under subsection (2) of that section.

(7)Subsection (4) or, as the case may be, subsection (5) of section 2 of this Act shall apply to any dog seized by a constable under subsection (4)(c) of this section as if the dog had been seized by a police officer under subsection (2A) of that section.]

Extent Information

E7This version of this provision extends to Scotland only. A separate version has been created for England and Wales only.

Textual Amendments

[F52BPower to have dog examinedE+W+S

Where a dog has been seized by a constable under section 2(2A) or section 2A(4)(c) of this Act, the constable may, without prejudice to any other power and whether or not in the presence of the owner or person in charge of the dog, arrange for the dog to be examined by a veterinary surgeon, and for the veterinary surgeon to take samples from the dog, for the purposes of identifying and securing evidence of the commission of an offence under this Act.]

3 Interpretation and supplementary provisions. E+W

(1)In this Act—

  • agricultural land” means land used as arable, meadow or grazing land, or for the purpose of poultry farming, pig farming, market gardens, allotments, nursery grounds or orchards; and

  • livestock” means cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses, or poultry, and for the purposes of this definition “cattle” means bulls, cows, oxen, heifers or calves, “horses” includes asses and mules, and “poultry” means domestic fowls, turkeys, geese or ducks.

(2)In this Act the expression “the Minister” as respects England and Wales means the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and as respects Scotland means the Secretary of State.

(3)The power of the Minister to make orders under subsection (5) of section one of this Act shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and shall include power, exercisable in the like manner, to vary or revoke any such order.

Extent Information

E4This version of this provision extends to England and Wales only. A separate version has been created for Scotland only.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C5Style and title of Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries now changed to Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: S.I. 1955/554 (1955 I, p. 1200)

3 Interpretation and supplementary provisions. S

(1)In this Act—

  • agricultural land” means land used as arable, meadow or grazing land [F30(including woodland that is used for grazing)] , or for the purpose of poultry farming, pig farming, [F31the raising of game birds,] market gardens, allotments, nursery grounds or orchards; F32...

  • [F33assistance dog” has the meaning given by section 173(1) of the Equality Act 2010;]

  • [F34livestock” means cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses, camelids, ostriches, farmed deer, enclosed game birds or poultry, and for the purposes of this definition “cattle” means bulls, cows, oxen, buffalo, heifers or calves, “horses” includes donkeys and mules, “farmed deer” means deer of any species which are on agricultural land enclosed by a deer-proof barrier and kept by way of business for the primary purpose of meat production, “enclosed game birds” means any pheasant, partridge, grouse (or moor game), black (or heath) game or ptarmigan that are being kept enclosed prior to their release for sporting purposes, and “poultry” means domestic fowls, turkeys, geese or ducks;]

  • [F35veterinary surgeon” means a person registered in the register of veterinary surgeons, or the supplementary veterinary register, kept under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (c.36).]

(2)In this Act the expression “the Minister” as respects England and Wales means the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and as respects Scotland means the Secretary of State.

(3)The power of the Minister to make orders under subsection (5) of section one of this Act shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and shall include power, exercisable in the like manner, to vary or revoke any such order.

[F36(4)The Scottish Ministers may by regulations amend the definitions in subsection (1).]

[F37(5)Regulations under subsection (4) of this section are subject to the affirmative procedure.]

Extent Information

E8This version of this provision extends to Scotland only. A separate version has been created for England and Wales only.

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C9Style and title of Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries now changed to Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: S.I. 1955/554 (1955 I, p. 1200)

4 Short title and extent.E+W+S

(1)This Act may be cited as the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act, 1953.

(2)This Act shall not extend to Northern Ireland.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Timeline of Changes

This timeline shows the different points in time where a change occurred. The dates will coincide with the earliest date on which the change (e.g an insertion, a repeal or a substitution) that was applied came into force. The first date in the timeline will usually be the earliest date when the provision came into force. In some cases the first date is 01/02/1991 (or for Northern Ireland legislation 01/01/2006). This date is our basedate. No versions before this date are available. For further information see the Editorial Practice Guide and Glossary under Help.

Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources