Gladis’ Law: Cow's death after dog attack set to spark law change after Dorset farmer's campaign

Dorset farmer Cameron Farquharson who campaigned for a law ensuring dogs are kept on leads around livestock

A Dorset farmer who has been campaigning for a change in the law to ensure dogs are kept on leads around livestock is one step closer to achieving his goal.

Cameron Farquharson lost one of his cherished Highland cows - named Gladis - when she was killed in a dog attack in May. Her unborn calf also died.

The farmer has since been campaigning for a new law - dubbed ‘Gladis’ Law’ - to be introduced in a bid to protect farmers’ livestock.

Now, the first reading of the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill has been completed in Parliament.

The new bill will mean dog-walkers face criminal prosecution if their pet chases any livestock to the point of harm or abortion. 

If the bill becomes law, dog-walkers will also face prosecution if their dogs are off-lead or out of control in a field of sheep, poultry, or enclosed game birds. 

Mr Farquharson said he is “over the moon” with the result but is not “counting his chickens until the dotted line is signed”.

His cow had been chased by two dogs off their leads before falling 30ft to her death. She was pregnant when she died.

Speaking after the incident, Mr Farquharson described the dog attack as “an act of complete negligence”.

He added: “It left this beautiful and much-loved animal and her unborn calf dead. Both my family and I are utterly devastated. This attack should never have happened."

Mr Farquharson has since worked with West Dorset MP Chris Loader and Farming Minister Victoria Prentis to change the law. 

“We would like to thank the media for covering the campaign, and we’d also like to thank the farming community and every single person that has supported us in changing the law to keep our livestock safe. Together we’ve done it,” Mr Farquharson said.

The campaign team have also been successful in raising over £40,000 for a charity to be set up in Gladis’ name “to help and support farming families who are struggling”.

“The support from others really helped my family get through these difficult months, and it’s important for us that we can do the same for others when they need that support,”  Mr Farquharson added.