Operation Recall: Shorter leash for owners of out of control dogs in Rutland and Leicestershire

By Evie Payne

19th Mar 2024 | Local News

PCC Rupert Matthews taking a stand against livestock worrying. Image credit: Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland PCC.
PCC Rupert Matthews taking a stand against livestock worrying. Image credit: Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland PCC.

Out of control dogs cause multiple issues for other dog owners, locals, land owners and the Rutland rural policing team.

These issues include dog attacks, fouling, other dangerous dog offences and livestock worrying.

Livestock worrying - when dogs chase, attack, or cause distress to livestock - can result in significant injury and suffering and in the worst cases, the death of the animals involved. These incidents are also distressing for livestock keepers and can have significant financial costs. 

The Government has recently backed a Bill to clamp down on livestock worrying and introduced new measures aim to reduce dog attacks on livestock.

Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) Bill, the police will be given greater powers to respond to livestock worrying incidents more effectively - making it easier for them to collect evidence and, in the most serious cases, seize and detain dogs to reduce the risk of further attacks. 

Since the original 1953 Act was brought in, the number of livestock in England and Wales has doubled with more people visiting the countryside.

By supporting the Bill, the Government is delivering on pledges made in its Action Plan for Animal Welfare and recognising the financial and emotional impacts farmers face as a result of dog attacks on livestock.  

PCC for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Rupert Matthews recently joined the Leicestershire Rural Crime Team to stress the importance of keeping dogs under control.

The visit was part of an ongoing programme of visits to highlight Operation Recall, a national campaign designed to reduce livestock worrying.

Do you think that out of control dogs are an issue locally? Image credit: Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland PCC.

"While we had a lovely time meeting the many dogs and their owners, there was a serious side to our visit," explained Mr Matthews.

"Livestock worrying can have serious consequences, both to the farmer whose stock can be harmed, sometimes with fatal outcomes, and to the out of control dog. It's very simple, if there is livestock anywhere near your dog, keep him or her on a lead and under control. It's the safest option for everyone.

"Everyone we met was very welcoming and understood our message. I hope we can all work together to make the horrific stories we read about a thing of the past.

"For farmers, livestock are not just their business, they are also living, breathing animals, and no-one wants to see them harmed.

"This is just one benefit of the stronger Rural Crime Team. Tackling all types of rural crime was, and remains, a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan, which is why I have supported the team with funding and resources."

In its first twelve months, the Rural Crime Team recovered over £1m in stolen property. In addition, recent figures showed that over the last twelve months reports of rural crime has fallen by around 10%.


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