Derby

Farmland dog shootings prompt call for change in law

A Derbyshire couple have said they want the law changed to make it illegal for dogs to be shot on farmland.

The plea from Tony and Susan Dracup, of Hartshorne, came after two of their pets were killed by a farmer.

Farmer John Collier said the dogs had "devastated the area" and had frightened his cattle on several occasions at his Hatton farm.

Derbyshire police said they had investigated the shooting of the dogs, but were not taking any further action.

Farmers are legally allowed to shoot a dog caught worrying livestock.

'Our children'

Mrs Dracup, who said she believed their dogs were chasing rabbits, added she was "totally devastated and shocked" when she discovered Tilly and Suki had been killed.

"If the dogs were that much of a nuisance to him, why didn't he tell us and complain to us?

"But to actually, in cold blood, fire shotguns at them and slaughter them is beyond belief."

Mrs Dracup said they had not had complaints from people about their "gentle natured creatures", who were "our children", causing problems in the area.

Cattle farmer Mr Collier said he was within his rights legally and morally to shoot the dogs.

"I saw the dogs hounding the cattle, two of which had aborted," he said.

"On numerous times I've had the cattle chased by the same dogs and several times I've thrown things at them, shouted and chased them off.

"We've never seen the owners with the dogs, they were always on their own."

He added that he would kill other dogs to protect his cattle in the future.

Under The Animals Act 1971 someone who has killed or injured a dog that was worrying or about to worry livestock has a legal defence.

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