THE horrific death of a cow on a farm in west Dorset has inspired a campaign to bring about a change in the law to protect livestock from dog attacks.

As reported, Gladis, a four-year-old heavily pregnant Highland cow was killed, suffering a 40 foot fall after being chased by two dogs at the Eggardon Hill Farm, near Askerswell.

Cameron Farquharson, the owner of the farm, is now working with a group of farmers, farming-related businesses and West Dorset MP Chris Loder, to try and bring about a change in the law to give livestock more protection - naming the proposed change 'Gladis' law'.

Calls have been increasing over the past year for dog walkers to keep their pets on a lead whilst around livestock but attacks have continued to happen.

The group has compiled a list of experiences from farmers across the country, whose livestock have suffered as a result of dog attacks.

Currently it is a criminal offence for a dog to be 'off a lead or not otherwise under close control' in a field of livestock.

Campaigners want this changed so owners would have to put their dogs on a lead 'whenever livestock is present'.

Rachel Hayball, who had one of her lambs savaged by an out of control dog near Broadwindsor in March, is part of the campaign group.

Dorset Echo: Rachel Hayball and Cameron Farquharson are part of a campaign to change dog walking laws around livestockRachel Hayball and Cameron Farquharson are part of a campaign to change dog walking laws around livestock

Mrs Hayball said: "This is a huge problem nationally - the statistics from the police and NFU are horrifying and those are just the ones which are reported.

"I love dogs, they're fantastic, but humans are getting less responsible. There are dog owners love their dogs so much and they don't believe their dogs would ever chase or hurt another animal. No matter how cute and fluffy or how well trained your dog is, it is still an animal.

"The current law has a massive gap in it. A dog could be walking under close control and its animal instincts could kick in and it can run off and chase something and at that point the dog is not under close control and its too late for the owner to do anything about it.

"So the idea is to change the law to all dogs should be on a lead whenever livestock is present. This would prevent so many of these problems."

Jon Lee, a friend of Mr Farquharson, has been helping to organise the campaign.

Not a farmer himself, Mr Lee has seen the extent of this problem since getting involved with the campaign group. One local farmer even told him he had 50 of his sheep killed in one night.

Mr Lee said: "Some of these dogs are huge and incredibly dangerous to farm animals. It's frightening, and its happening a lot.

"It's such a shame when it happens. Farmers have a close personal relationship with these animals and on top of that they are their livelihood. This is why we need to have rules put in place.

"We want to ensure that all dogs on the same land as livestock have their leads on - with the exception of working dogs."

He added: "We're not against dogs at all, we just want to make sure that when they are on a livestock field, the owner acts responsible. We want to get dog owners involved as well and have an open communication between the two groups."

The group is asking those who have been affected write a paragraph or two about their experiences with attacks on livestock and send it to them at

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