The Manx NFU is backing farmers on the Island who have been experiencing problems with dogs worrying sheep and other livestock.
Under current Manx law, The Dog Act, allows farmers the right to shoot on sight any dog that is attacking or worrying livestock. However, many farmers are reluctant to do this and in many cases they find the evidence after the event rather than catch the culprit in the act.
Uncontrolled dogs are a particular concern during peak lambing season where the stress caused to pregnant ewes can lead to abortions and still births in addition to any immediate damage caused.
Advice from the Manx NFU to its members experiencing any problems with dogs on their land is to:
- In the first instance contact the Police who have powers to investigate any attacks.
- Remember that farmers are legally entitled to shoot dogs, but only if you catch them worrying or attacking livestock.
- If farmers catch the dog that they think is responsible the Police can involve a vet who can administer emetics to make the dog sick. If the dog vomits wool this can be used as evidence for Police to proceed in action against owners.
- If the dog and owner can be identified farmers are entitled to pursue a compensation claim.
A legal advice service is also available to members.
General Secretary, Belinda Leach, has followed up this matter by alerting members of the public to their responsibilities as dog owners through local media.