29 APRIL 1955, Page 12

Country Life

BY IAN NIALL SOME farmers in my county have been discussing at a public meeting the question of when they have the right to shoot a dog that is worrying sheep. I suppose the dog- lover would plead that the shot should remain unfired. The shepherd who sees the havoc that even th4 chasing of an in- lamb ewe can cause would be all for shooting before damage is done. The only doubt on the part of the flockmasters is on the question of what exactly shooting a sheep-worrying dog means in law. Must the dog be allowed enough latitude to enable it to be shot in the act of killing? No responsible dog- owner allows his pet to run loose in a busy street. Does a dog that worries sheep come into another category than that of a stray, and if he does is his owner responsible for what the dog does to an unlucky ewe? I think that it says a lot for the tolerance of farmers and shepherds that they debate the point. Sometimes they must feel very like shooting all dogs on sight, particularly when they find dead ewes strewn about the fields.