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Dogs have 'diplomatic immunity
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Monday, 29 November, 1999, 16:56 GMT
Dogs have 'diplomatic immunity'
graham brown and sheep Graham Brown: Has threatened to shoot at dogs

A farmer has been told he can take no action against two dogs worrying sheep - because the animals are protected by "diplomatic immunity".

The two guard dogs are supposed to protect the Russian ambassador's country retreat in East Sussex.

Farmer Graham Browne however, who owns adjacent land, says he believes they have savaged about 40 of his sheep in a series of attacks.

Yet when he complained to police about the animals - he was told they had "diplomatic immunity" and nothing could be done.

'Abide by the laws'

Mr Browne said: "I understand that when we enter their grounds we are effectively on Russian territory.

"But when they step outside the grounds, as the dogs have done, then surely they should abide by the laws of the country they are in."

Mr Browne has said despite what he has been told by police, he will open fire on the dogs if he catches them on his land again.

A spokesman for the Russian embassy said in a statement it is investigating claims that its dogs have been responsible for the attacks.

It says it will co-operate with the police, and neighbouring land owners to find out exactly what has happened.

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