Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Farmers 'entitled' to shoot dogs

Dog owners in the Isle of Man are being warned to keep control of their animals or risk them being shot.

Manx National Farmers' Union is urging people to keep a close eye on their dogs in the countryside, particularly when near livestock.

Belinda Leach, general secretary of the MNFU, said: "Farmers are legally entitled to shoot dogs that are worrying their stock."

The warning comes after a number of dog attacks on sheep, some fatal.

February is an important time of year in the run up to the lambing season and farmers want to avoid pregnant ewes being chased.

According to the MNFU farmers are within their rights to report dog owners not complying to police or to shoot dogs themselves.

Mrs Leach added: "I'm sure not everyone would want to take that route. However, if stress is being caused or attacks are taking place I think it may be a necessary route.

"If a land owner is able to identify a dog's owner, they can claim compensation for injured or dead animals."

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