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Hairyloon

Chicken Dispute

There is a tale on Facebook about someone who's neighbour allows their chickens free reign, including into the poster's garden which they keep destroying.
Then, it seems that the poster's dog has killed one of the chickens and the poultry keeper is up in arms.
My understanding from general principles of the law, is that it is tough luck on chicken boy: he should keep his birds on his land or face the consequences.

Facebook being Facebook there are various suggestions including shooting the chickens, which I think would be illegal though I couldn't claim to be sure.

Any helpful suggestions or comments?
Chez

Common sense dictates he should confine them to his land. Dunno about legally though.
Nick

Have a look at the Animals Act, 1971. The chicken keeper is generally at fault. Also, they're causing a statutory nuisance.

The same act will probably protect the dog owner UNLESS the dog is specifically kept to stop the chickens trespassing.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/advice/3313002/Property-clinic-poultry-problem.html

http://www.inbrief.co.uk/animal-law/liability-for-animals.htm#
Hairyloon

Have a look at the Animals Act, 1971...

That was my first port of call, but I hadn't quite looked hard enough.
[quote="Animals Act 1971 S5](4)A person is not liable under section 3 of this Act if the livestock was killed or injured on land on to which it had strayed and either the dog belonged to the occupier or its presence on the land was authorised by the occupier.[/quote]
Section 3 says that the dog owner is responsible for damage to livestock by the dog so it seems pretty clear and unambiguous to me.

Anyone got a clear answer as to why it would be illegal to shoot the chickens?
I don't think the poster is likely to, and I expect that most of those suggestions are tongue in cheek, but I'd still like to know.
Nick

Criminal damage to the chicken? Only defence is if he honestly believed shooting them is the sole way of preventing them causing damage. If he thinks like that, he probably shouldn't have a gun legally.
Discharge of a firearm within 50m of the queens highway?
Hairyloon

Only defence is if he honestly believed shooting them is the sole way of preventing them causing damage.

Since he knows the dog will chase them given half a chance, that defence would fail.
Nick

Only defence is if he honestly believed shooting them is the sole way of preventing them causing damage.
Since he knows the dog will chase them given half a chance, that defence would fail.

That alone suggests there's no reason to shoot the chickens.
Bebo


Discharge of a firearm within 50m of the queens highway?

50ft rather than 50m:

Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England &
Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50
ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without
lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the
highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

Pretty sure it's only legal to shoot on land you own or have permission to shoot on. The shot needs to fall on land you control or have permission to shoot on as well.
Nick

Thanks for correcting. I was working from memory. Smile tahir

That alone suggests there's no reason to shoot the chickens.

What about cats, can you shoot them?
Nick

[quote="tahir:1461298"]That alone suggests there's no reason to shoot the chickens.

What about cats, can you shoot them?[/quote
You can't. You couldn't hit a barn door.
Slim

While I'm not trying to take responsibility from the chicken owner, at some point there must be some expectation that a garden be fenced to exclude animals, yes?

I can't seek damages from the state if deer destroy my garden.

What if we go towards the middle, and have a semi-wild animal that a neighbor enjoys and cultivates habitat that is favorable towards, but the other neighbor considers a pest?

Edit to include an example.
What if I love mourning doves, and scatter seed for them on the side of my property that hypothetically borders a neighbors car. Can they try to make me pay for their car washes?
tahir

You couldn't hit a barn door.

I can, I still have the scars from the last time I hit it.
Nick

While I'm not trying to take responsibility from the chicken owner, at some point there must be some expectation that a garden be fenced to exclude animals, yes?

I can't seek damages from the state if deer destroy my garden.

What if we go towards the middle, and have a semi-wild animal that a neighbor enjoys and cultivates habitat that is favorable towards, but the other neighbor considers a pest?

Edit to include an example.
What if I love mourning doves, and scatter seed for them on the side of my property that hypothetically borders a neighbors car. Can they try to make me pay for their car washes?

Actually no. If you have animals the responsibility is yours to keep them in. It's not mine to keep them out. Cats are a notable exception. The law applies to kept animals, so a wild deer is hard luck.

If your doves shit on my car, yes I can claim against you. I can also seize them until you pay up. If they're wild doves, I suspect I'd have a claim as you'd be causing a nuisance.
Hairyloon

If your doves shit on my car, yes I can claim against you. I can also seize them until you pay up...
Only if you inform the police within 48hrs (if I've understood it correctly).
Slim

What if I just like to feed wild doves? Suddenly I'm not allowed to put out birdseed? Nick

What if I just like to feed wild doves? Suddenly I'm not allowed to put out birdseed?

It's possible you'd be causing a nuisance. How often? How many? Is the pavement and area knee deep in shit? Is it causing a noise very early in the morning or being a health hazard? Are they getting in the way of traffic, or scaring the tiny kids playing in the next garden?

You don't particularly have to like it, but yes, you could be in the wrong. It's all about levels, in reality.
Slim

I don't actually like doves at all. I never thought I was in the right with my hypothetical (definitely thought the hypothetical me was being a jerk).

I was just curious where some of these lines exist. At what point are they your animals that you're responsible for, basically.

(I fully agree the owner of the chickens is responsible for keeping them off the gardener's property, and after a few neighborly warnings should have no recourse if the chickens end up in the gardener's stew pot)
dpack

there have been asbo's and prosecutions for feeding birds Rolling Eyes

for example

i wonder what the authorities would make of my plan to entice some of these over from norway with some spare dogfood?
Hairyloon

I was just curious where some of these lines exist. At what point are they your animals that you're responsible for, basically...
English law makes much use of the word "reasonable", as interpreted by the man on the number seven bus.
Chez

The chap could get a pig for his garden. The trespassing chickens would disappear without trace. dpack

or the pig would be forced into working for them as a rat nest and worm excavator Laughing

back in the range war the obvious solution is that the chook keeper buys a good chicken run with high sides and a roof.

an alternative is "compensation"in the form of eggs ,even large holes in the lawn and spooked horses can be smoothed over with a few kilos of oak smoked bacon Wink

imho most similar disputes are far more about the people 's behaviour than that of the "offending"critters.the brits can end up killing each other about a simple bit of hedge pruning Rolling Eyes
wellington womble

We had this problem. A neighbour has allowed her fence to fall down, and has previously complained vociferously about chickens (not mine) trespassing in her garden. I covered the gap with chicken wire and left her to stew. She has no privacy and it's butt ugly, but she declined to be responsible for it, so I got to make the choices. I am obliged to keep my stock in. Not to put up pretty, expensive fences for her garden.

I don't know whether I could have left it, as it is her fence, but we were just going away on holiday, so I wanted a quick fix with no arguments.
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