North Cowichan council wants changes to law to protect livestock

North Cowichan is going to ask the Union of BC Municipalities for backing in pushing changes that would allow livestock owners to protect their animals from attacks by uncontrolled dogs.

A case last year that saw a farmer successfully sued after a shooting now means that farmers need support, councillors agreed.

Amendments to the Livestock Act should: allow livestock owners to protect their animals from attack by uncontrolled dogs defend livestock owners from

lawsuits by dog owners, and clearly place the responsibility for dog control on dog owners and not on livestock owners.

Coun. Al Siebring wanted to ensure that wording still meant that a farmer had the right to shoot a dog harassing livestock.

Coun. Jennifer Woike said she hoped the amendments would go forward as farmers needed the support now.

The need came as a surprise to Coun. Ruth Hartmann who thought farmers already had the right to deal summarily with dogs harassing sheep and other farm animals.