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Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council prosecutes after stray dogs attack sheep

A Coleraine man has been found guilty of nine offences under Dog Control legislation after sheep were attacked by stray dogs.

The case was brought by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and heard at Ballymena Magistrates Court on March 5th 2021.

The Court heard that in November 2019, the Council received a report from PSNI about two stray dogs in a field where livestock were kept.

A Council Enforcement Officer attended the scene immediately and although the dogs were no longer in the field the complaint was investigated. A statement was obtained from the owner of the sheep who witnessed two German Shepherd dogs chasing the livestock. The witness was also able to identify the owner of the dogs.

After a full investigation, Council was satisfied that several offences had been committed and the owner of the dogs was given a Fixed Penalty Notice and instructed to obtain dog licences for the five dogs in his possession.

The Fixed Penalty Notice was not paid and the dogs remained unlicenced so a decision was taken to instigate legal proceedings for permitting dogs to stray, for permitting dogs to be on land where livestock was kept and for failing to licence the dogs.

The dog owner contested the charges and after the case was heard, the District Judge found the dog owner guilty of nine offences.

For two offences of permitting a dog to stray, the dog owner was fined £75 for each. For the two offences of permitting a dog on land where livestock were kept the dog owner was fined £75 for each. For the five offences of keeping a dog without a valid licence, the dog owner was given a 12 month condition discharge. He was also ordered to pay £180 legal costs and a £15 offender levy.

Commenting on the case, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Alderman Mark Fielding said:

“This is another reminder of the importance of keeping dogs secure, especially in rural areas where livestock are kept nearby. Council takes any case of dogs straying and attacking livestock very seriously and where it is appropriate, formal action such as prosecutions, will be taken against negligent dog owners.”