The Use of Dogs in Hunting
Under section 10 of the Animal Welfare Act 1993, it is illegal to intentionally use or allow an animal to catch, kill or injure another animal. This applies to the use of dogs in hunting.
Anybody intentionally using or allowing dogs to catch, kill or injure wildlife is liable to prosecution.
However, hunting dogs may be used
- during daylight hours, to flush out the quarry from their bush cover for accurate shooting at close range; and
- to locate and retrieve shot quarry and allow wounded quarry to be humanely dispatched.
Please also note that un-muzzled hunting dogs are a health risk to both livestock and humans. They may come across, and eat from, carcasses that may carry various diseases that could then be transmitted to livestock (eg sheep measles) or humans (eg hydatids).
Owners of hunting dogs are also encouraged to ensure their dogs are wormed regularly with a treatment containing praziquantel at a rate of 5mg per kg of body weight. In the instance that a dogs worm treatment status is unknown, it should be treated one week prior to visiting a property.
If you use dogs for hunting, we recommend that you have them muzzled, for health and welfare reasons, while hunting.
Hunters are also reminded that it is their responsibility to retrieve their hunting dogs so as they do not go feral and become wild dogs and/or attack domestic stock. Dogs should not be used near lambing ewes as disturbance can lead to mis-mothering and death of lambs.