Police set to be given extra powers to crack down on livestock worrying

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Police are set to be given additional powers to crack down on livestock worrying as a part of new proposals to safe extra prosecutions.

Thérèse Coffey, the previous Defra Secretary, is planning to introduce measures which she has stated will make it simpler for the police to catch irresponsible canine homeowners.

It follows the federal government’s resolution earlier this 12 months to pause plans for a raft of latest animal welfare protections, which included measures to strengthen and increase legal guidelines on livestock worrying.

However new plans are being introduced ahead by Ms Coffey by way of a Non-public Member’s Invoice which are typically shorter and extra slim in scope than authorities laws.

And whereas it nonetheless being finalised, it won’t embody all of the measures the federal government had proposed for livestock worrying.

Increasing the record of farmed animals protected by the legislation to species corresponding to emus and llamas was proposed by the federal government, however Ms Coffey stated her Invoice will as an alternative give attention to increasing police powers to guard “what’s at present outlined as livestock”.

Responding to the event, NFU Livestock Board chair Richard Findlay stated the union was “grateful” for the brand new proposals.

He stated that “farmers recognise the significance of fine animal welfare and livestock worrying and canine assaults causes stress and aguish for farmers.”

“For a few years, we’ve been working with authorities and police leaders to agree the proposed laws giving police extra powers to research canine assaults on livestock,” Mr Findlay stated.

“We would like folks to benefit from the countryside and welcome members of the general public with the ability to see the place their meals is produced, however canine homeowners should do that responsibly.

“Irrespective of how in management canine homeowners assume they’re, they need to at all times stay alert and canine ought to at all times be saved on a lead round livestock.”

Ms Coffey’s Canines (Safety of Livestock) (Modification) Invoice goals to amend the Canines (Safety of Livestock) Act 1953, and is at present listed for its second studying, the primary debate on the Invoice is in February 2024.

Authorities plans to strengthen the legislation on livestock worrying had been stalled when when the Animal Welfare (Saved Animals) Invoice was withdrawn in June this 12 months.

Ms Coffey stated: “We’re giving police extra of the powers that they’ve requested for to have the ability to sort out irresponsible homeowners.

“That may be about rising powers for seizure, giving them powers to get DNA, making it simpler to gather proof like dental impressions, so we’re going to make it simpler for the police to do their job.”

She stated it was a “concern expressed by many farmers” that too many offenders are going unpunished, and stated she hoped by strengthening the legislation it might change into a “vital deterrent”.


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